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Government Documents: Known item searches

A guide to utilizing electronic government documents.

Known item searches

How to find a government document if you know its title.

If you know the exact item you need (e.g. Hearing before the United States Commission on Civil Rights : police practices and civil rights), use a known item search strategy. Step one in this case is to find the document via an online catalog, then retrieve the item depending on whether it is physical or electronic, and where it is located.

  • LINK+ catalog: As a Wardman Library user, you have the option to see if an associated LINK+ library has a document you seek; if so, you can use LINK+ to have the document delivered here.
  • Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP): Maintained by the Government Printing Office (GPO), this search engine includes all documents distributed to depository libraries from 1976 to the present; many are available as full-text documents online.  See also the CGP Search tips/Help page for more information.
  • WorldCat: WorldCat is a union catalog of materials in libraries in the U.S. and internationally. If you cannot find a document via our catalog/LINK+, or access the document online via the CGP, you may be able to arrange an interlibrary loan depending on where an item resides.

On occasion, a document may be old or obscure and remain uncataloged, or your citation may be incomplete or incorrect. In this case, you may find the document in one of the following indexes:


David McCaslin's picture
David McCaslin
Wardman Library