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Government Publications

Guide to Government Publications at Fogler Library

Government Publications

Fogler Library Government Publications Department is located on the third floor of the library.  It is a regional depository for U.S. Government publications. We are a selective depository for Canadian, and we have United Nations documents.  For many federal, state, and Canadian documents you may search LibrarySearch for our holdings.

Government Publications is a vital resource to the nation.  If you are a member of the general public and not connected in some way with the University you can still access these resources either electronically through our web pages, through searching our LibrarySearch, or by contacting us directly by phone at 207.581.1688 or via email at  

About the Government Publications Department

WHAT do we Have?

A United States Government Publications Depository since 1907, the University of Maine Library has been a Regional (complete) Depository since 1963 -- the only such in Northern New England. Of the 1100 Federal Depository Libraries there are only 50 with this distinction. Also the Library is an official depository for Canadian federal government publications, making it one of only forty such depositories on US soil, and therefore also one of the very few bi-national depositories in the country.

Over 2.3 million government publications comprise the collection, some even dating back to 1789.  Their formats include:  hardbound book, paperback, map, poster, microfiche, audio and videocassette, floppy disk, CD-ROM and DVD. As the century began, the US federal government gave a big push for transition to issuing nearly all new government publications in digital form. So 313,076 more are now accessible online via links in our online catalog URSUS. And even past websites of agencies are available atCyberCemetry.

Major strengths of this collection include: aquaculture, census information and demographics, earth sciences, foreign relations, forestry, international commerce, marine studies,  political science,  water resources, and wildlife.  Fogler is also a Census Data Center Affiliate.

WHERE can I find it?

Many items are available electronically through the LibrarySearch. The paper items are primarily in closed stacks or the Library Annex, but can be paged on demand from the Reference Desk. Almost all documents published after 1975 are cataloged in LibrarySearch.

Documents that are not published, whether authored by official bodies or not, and that are unique or of very limited distribution, fall in the domain of archives rather than of libraries (though libraries may acquire microfilm or other reproductions of these.)   Two important archives in our state are the Special Collections Department of this library and the Maine State Archive. Archived US and Canadian federal documents are the responsibility of the National Archives and of the Library and Archives Canada/Bibliothèque et Archives Canada respectively.

WHEN are they available?

Service hours are the same as the Reference Desk. 

WHO do I ask for help?

Librarians in the Reference Department provide assistance in identifying and locating U.S. government publications.  

For more information

Academic Year Service Hours

Mon - Fri 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

If additional help is needed, please contact 207.581.1686.


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Greg Curtis
Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469
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