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Core Documents of Our Democracy: Home

The resources found in this guide are vital sources of information that support the public's right to know about the workings and essential activities of the Federal Government.

Mary Couts Burnett Library

TCU Library Home Page

Mary Couts Burnett Library has been proud to be part of the Federal Depository Library program for over 100 years.

Our goal is to provide free, public access to Federal and Texas documents to our student body, as well as the community at large. 

The purpose of this guide is to showcase the core documents, websites and databases that provide vital information about the workings and activities of our Federal Government.  Our hope is that this page will allow users to find essential information all in one location.

Locations of our Depository Collection

Maps of  levels of the government document stacks                                       


Understanding the Basics of the SuDoc Classification System

  • Unlike traditional the traditional Library of Congress call number system, the SuDoc classification numbers are WHOLE NUMBERS rather that decimal numbers.  An example of the proper order is as follows:

ED 1.2:Ad 9

ED 1.102:B 56

ED 1.302:B 49/2

  • If the call number is the same to a certain point, then varies, the order is: Years, Letters, Numbers. Until the year 2000, the first number was dropped from years, so those years have 3 digits. Beginning with the year 2000, years will be 4 digits.  An example of the proper order would be:

A 1.35:993

A 1.35:R 42

A 1.35:R 42/995

A 1.35:R 42/2

A 1.35:321

  • If the call number stem (the numbers before the colon) has numbers slashed onto the base number, the base number comes first, followed by the slashed numbers in order. The same rule applies to numbers dashed onto other numbers or letters.  An example of the proper order would be:

C 3.186:

C 3.186/2:

C 3.186/7:

C 3.186/7-3:

C 3.186/9:

  • If there are identical SuDoc numbers until at the end where there may be a slash with an additional number this does NOT mean that this is additional edition of the same document.  This is a completely different title that happens to have the same subject matter as the other titles.  An example would be:

J 1.2:P 75        The Police Chief Executive Report

J 1.2:P 75/3     An Alternative Approach in Police Patrol

J 1.2:P 75/4     Policy Formulation and Implementation at the Federal Level

J 1.2:P 75/11   Police Officer Body-Worn Cameras

  • If a document title is updated (2nd or 3rd edition, etc.), the basic classification assigned to the 1st edition will be given to the subsequent editions.  As stated above, until the year 2000, the first number was dropped from years, so those years have 3 digits. Beginning with the year 2000, years will be 4 digits.  An example of the proper order would be:

Y 3.T 22/2:2 In 3

Y 3.T 22/2:2 In 3/995

Y 3.T 22/2:2 In 3/2001

Y 3.T 22/2:2 In 3/2

Current Lettering for SuDoc Class Stems

What makes the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system user friendly is that the preceding letter(s) of the SuDoc number represent the Department or Agency that created the document.

For an easy way to search for documents by Department or Agency go to our Virtual Shelf Browser which allows you to peruse the historic and current U.S. government publications available in our library as well as online. 

A Agriculture
AE National Archives and Records Administration
B Broadcasting Board of Governors
C Commerce Department
CC Federal Communications Commission
CR Civil Rights Commission
D Defense Department
E Energy Department
ED Education Department
EP Environmental protection Agency
FA Fine Arts Commission
FCA Farm Credit Administration
FHF Federal Housing Financing Board
FM Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
FMC Federal Maritime Commission
FR Federal Reserve System Board of Governors
FT Federal Trade Commission
FTZ Foreign-Trade Zones Board
GA Government Accountability Office
GP Government Printing Office
GS General Services Administration
HE Health and Human Services Department
HH Housing and Urban Development Department
HS Homeland Security
I Interior Department
IC Interstate Commerce Commission
ID US Agency for International Development
ITC International Trade Commission
J Justice Department
JU Judiciary
L Labor Department
LC Library of Congress
LR National Labor Relations Board
MS Merit Systems Protection Board
NAS National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NC National Capital Planning Commission
NCU National Credit Union Administration
NF National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities
NMB National Mediation Board
NS National Science Foundation
OP Overseas Private Investment Corporation
P United States Postal Service
PE Peace Corps
PM Personnel Management Office
PR President of the United States
PREX Executive Office of the President
PRVP Vice President of the United States
RR Railroad Retirement Board
S State Department
SBA Small Business Administration
SE Securities and Exchange Commission
SI Smithsonian Institution
SSA Social Security Administration
T Treasury Department
TD Transportation Department
TDA US Trade and Development Agency
VA Veterans Affairs Department
X & Y Congress

Direct Online Access to Basic Federal Government Documents

This collection provides American citizens with direct online access to the basic Federal Government documents that define our democratic society. These titles contain information about the democratic process that are critical to informed citizens. They support the public's right to know about the essential activities of their Government.