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Government Documents: Home

Welcome to the Tech Law Government Documents Libguide

"This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law." (Title 44 United States Code)

What is the Federal Depository Library Program?

"The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information. Since 1813, depository libraries have safeguarded the public's right to know by collecting, organizing, maintaining, preserving, and assisting users with information from the Federal Government. The FDLP provides Government information at no cost to designated depository libraries throughout the country and territories. These depository libraries, in turn, provide local, no-fee access to Government information in an impartial environment with professional assistance." (from FDLP Desktop)

Collection Development Statement

The Documents Department accepts the responsibility for which it was established: to be a government information bank of legal materials relating to the teaching, study, research, and practice of law for residents in the 19th Congressional District. As such, the Documents Department follows the suggested core collections for law libraries published online by the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) at In addition, the Documents Department does not collect agency publications which merely duplicate statutes or regulations available in the United States Code or Code of Federal Regulations.

The Law Library can sensibly restrict its collection to mostly legal materials as a Regional Depository stands within the campus of the Law Library and the internet permits access to several non-legal documents.

What are Government Documents?

Government documents are publications published and distributed by the government rather than by commercial publishers. Documents include such commonly used titles as United States Reports, the United States Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations. They also include a wide range of both popular and obscure pamphlets, posters, treatises, annuals, maps and journals on every subject. Government documents can be valuable research sources and are often cited in legal literature. Though documents are still published in a variety of traditional formats, including paper, microfiche and CD ROM, more are being published daily on the Internet. (from Penn Law Library)

Where are Government Documents located?

The majority of titles received via the FDLP program are incorporated into the general collection, using Library of Congress classification. There are some exceptions. Most of the House and Senate Reports and Hearings that the Law Library receives in print are housed in the government document collection using the Superintendent of Documents classification. The documents available in microfiche are located in the microfiche collection in the lower basement area. A Law Library user may find the location of separately shelved materials by consulting OneSearch, the Law Library online public access catalog.

Who can help me locate Government Documents?

The main contact for the Law Library documents collection would be Sue Kelleher. She may be reached via email at, or by telephone at (806) 843-2615. Any librarian in the Law Library is also available for assistance and can be contacted directly or through the Reference email or telephone ( or 806-742-7155).


Basic Documents

Visiting Texas Tech Law Library

Hours for Public Visitation:

(Law Faculty/Staff/Students have 24/7 access)

Regular Semester Hours:

Mon-Thurs: 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Friday: 7:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Saturday: 9:00 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Sunday: 1:00 p.m.- 10 p.m.

(Hours vary during Interim and Summer periods. For specific hours see the full Calendar.

The Law Library will be closed on:
Memorial Day (May 28, 2018)
July 4th (July 4, 2018)

Determining a Document's SuDoc Number or Title

Understanding Superintendent of Documents or SuDoc Numbers:

Each government document has its own classification number that identifies it called a SuDoc number. SuDoc numbers designate the issuing agency, the office, the type of document, and the individual source. For example:

I 29.9/5: 139

  • I = Department of the Interior
  • 29 = National Park Service
  • .9/5 = Handbooks (numbered series)
  • 139 = Number of the individual circular.

(borrowed example from: (last visited Nov. 11, 2016)

Knowing the SuDoc number of a source will help you find the document in another library should Texas Tech Law Library not have it. Contact a Reference Librarian to assist you if needed.

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Texas Tech Law Library Catalog