Schaffer Library

Government Documents

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The Federal Depository Library Program originated in the early 1800's when a joint resolution of Congress directed that additional copies of the House and Senate Journals and other documents be printed and distributed to institutions outside the Federal establishment. From that small beginning, the Federal Depository Library Program has grown into a system of over a thousand Federal depository libraries.

Schaffer Library at Union College has been a selective federal document depository since May 17, 1901. As one of five in the capital district of New York State, we participate in a local networking coalition, the Government Information Interest Group (GIIG) of the Capital District Library Council. The institutions included are the New York State Library (our regional depository which receives everything offered), a law library, a public library and two academics (four if you count one sharing status with the public library). Links with directions, maps and hours can be found on our page, "How to Find Local (Greater Capital District) Libraries."

Of over 10,000 publication items the Government Printing Office makes available, we select over 3,000 or around 31%. The material is additionally supplemented by the Congressional Information Service microfiche collection and the Proquest digital access to the American Statistics Index to United States government statistical publications. We collect primarily in the areas of census, geology and political science and our collection is comprised of all the available formats: paper, microfiche, maps, CD-ROM databases, and Federal Government Information online. In addition, we also periodically list the new acquisitions and series that are added to our online public access web catalog.