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Government Information: Accessing Tangible Documents at Alkek

Welcome to Alkek Library's Government Information unit. This guide was created to assist researchers who might use publications or resources published by the federal or state government.

Locating and Accessing Tangible Government Documents at Alkek Library

University Libraries at Texas State University has tangible government documents located at the Alkek Library and at the Archives and Research Center.  This page explains how to access documents located at the Alkek Library.

Print Government Documents, other than maps, are located on the 4th floor in compact shelving:

Please feel free to contact the Checkout Desk or Ask Alkek staff for assistance.

Catalog Search for Government Documents

Patrons may search for government documents by using the library catalog and choosing Government Documents from the drop-down menu.

You may also used Advanced Search to limit specifically to Federal documents and a particular format.

Material Request - Government Document

Patrons with NetIDs and passwords may request government documents to be pulled for them and held at the Checkout Desk or sent to the Round Rock Campus by searching for items in the library cataloging and clicking a button.

Request Gov Doc

Understanding Superintendent of Documents Call Numbers

Federal government documents located in the Alkek Library are organized by the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification scheme, not by the Library of Congress call numbers used in the rest of the library.

The Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system is an alphanumeric classification system for U.S. federal publications.  This system classifies each document by an institutional author (Congress or a government department or agency), rather than by subject. In other words, it is organized by who created the document.

A SuDoc number consists of two major parts divided by a colon (:).  The first part, the stem, identifies the government department or agency that issued the publication.  The second part, after the colon, is a book number that is specific to that document.

The following example for SuDoc number I 29.9/5: 125 illustrates this system.

I = Department (Department of the Interior)
29 = Agency (National Parks)
9 = Type of publication (type of document, e.g. an annual report, newsletter, bibliography, etc.)
5 = More information about the type of publication
125 =
Book number

The University of Texas at El Paso has created a fantastic tutorial regarding SuDoc (Superintendent of Documents) classification scheme.

Library Catalog Search Tips

Types of Searches


  • Combine terms using AND.
  • This search returns records that contain words that match exactly what you typed in.
  • This is often (but not always) the best place to start.


  • Catalog uses pre-defined subjects. 
  • This type of search works well if you are browsing for a particular subject that you know or a broad term. So if you aren't finding anything, switch to the keyword search instead.


  • Author searches are for looking for items a particular person has authored or written.
  • The library catalog works best if you type in searches in the format "Lastname, Firstname."
  • If you want books about a person, search for their name by subject. >


  • Use this search if you know the title of the material that you want.