U.S. Government Information

Government Resources

Five Colleges of Ohio

Oberlin's Collection

Oberlin College Library has been a member of the Federal Depository Library Program since 1858. As a selective depository we receive material from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government in a variety of formats including paper, microfiche, and CD-ROM.


Between 1858 and the 1940's most government publications acquired by Oberlin College Library were incorporated into the Main Library collection and assigned Dewey call numbers. Since then, the majority of government publications have been maintained as a separate collection organized according to the Superintendent of Documents, or SuDocs, classification system. From the 1940's until 1993 only selected government publications were added to the Main Library collection and included in OBIS. Since mid-1993 most non-serial government publications have been included in OBIS.

Because information in OBIS about the government publications we own is limited, you will probably need to use a specialized index to determine what government publications are available, and our Government Publications Shelflist to determine which ones we own. The Shelflist, located near the EXIT on the west wall of the main level, is a card file organized according to SuDocs number. Holdings information for most government periodicals and serials is still maintained in the Government Publications Shelflist.

  • For documents issued between 1858 and the 1940's, use OBIS.
  • For documents issued between the 1940's and mid-1993, refer to the Government Publications Shelflist.
  • For monographic government documents issued after mid-1993, refer to OBIS.
  • For serial government documents (regardless of when it was issued), refer to the Government Publications Shelflist.
  • If we don't own the government document you need, we will attempt to borrow it from another library. Refer to the Interlibrary Loan guide for more information.

There are exceptions to these guidelines; ask a Reference Librarian to verify whether or not we received a particular government document.

  • SuDocs numbers beginning with A through Y3 are on the main level.
  • SuDocs numbers beginning with Y4 are on the fourth floor.
  • All U.S. government publications on microfiche are on the main level.

If you can't find a government publication that you identified using the online catalog, look at the OBIS record again. If the status is listed as AVAILABLE but you can't find it on the shelf, select G> Request ITEM to place a search request. If you can't find a government publication that you identified using the shelflist, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.

Contact Information

Tom Hinders, Serials
(440) 775-8285, ext.224
Cecilia Robinson, Government Documents
(440) 775-8285, ext.285
Five Colleges Page    -     Ohio Five Documents    -     Oberlin Library
URL:  http://www3.wooster.edu/Library/Gov/Ohio5Docs/Ober.html
Editor:  Jennifer E. McMullen
The College of Wooster Libraries, September 2003