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Basic Government Documents Guide  

This guide introduces patrons to government documents sources available in the Earl S. Richardson Library at Morgan State University.
Last Updated: Nov 1, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Finding Documents in the Library Print Page

How to Read Gov. Docs. Call Numbers

Government document call numbers are different from book call numbers. Government documents use  the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system. In the SuDoc system, government publications are classified by the government agency that created the document instead of by subject, so all publications from one government department or agency are shelved together.

The first part of a SuDoc number represents the government agency that created the document.

Some examples include A- Agriculture, E- Energy, ED- Educaiton, I- Interior, HS-  Homeland Security, X and Y - congress

For complete list click here:

Rules for reading SuDoc numbers:

1.  Numbers are whole numbers not decimals: 

Y 1.1:
Y  1.3:
Y 1.12:
Y 1.122:

2.  Colon before Slash,    : before /

D 112.12:
D 112.12/A:

3.  Dash before Slash,     - before /

Y 1.1/5: 113-73
Y 1.1/5: 113/73
Y 1.1-5: 113/73
Y 1.1/5: 113-73

 4.  Year, Letter, Number

A 1.35:999 (year, 3-digit)
A 1.35:2004 (year, 4-digit)
A 1.35:R 42/995
A 1.35:R 42/2
A 1.35:321

5.  Nothing before something

A 1.35:R 42
A 1.35:R 42/2


Where To Start

Search Online:

At the Earl Richardson Library homepage:

At the Government printing office website:


Where to Find Gov. Docs. in Richardson Library


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