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Locating U.S. Government Publications

Access federal government information including documents available through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)

What is "SuDocs"?

The Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) system is the classification system W&M Libraries and the United States government use to identify and catalog government publications. It was created over 90 years ago by the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) to essentially serve as the government's own system of call numbers. Visit the GPO's website for more information.


How to Read a SuDoc Number

Sample Call Number:

ED 1.102 :C 43/995

ED The letter indicates the publishing agency. Read the letter classification in alphabetical order. Each letter or combination of letters refers to a federal agency or department, as outlined in the full list to the left. Example: ED shelved before EP.
1 The number before the period indicates the bureau or office within the agency. "1" always designates the Secretary or administrator's office, with subordinate offices beginning at "2." Read the second line as a whole number. Example: 2 shelved before 11.
.102 The number after the period indicates the various series of publication issued by the bureau or office. In this case, "102" designates the education test service series. Read the number as a whole number NOT as a decimal. Example: ED 1.11 shelved before ED 1.102
:C 43/995 After a colon, the letter "C" indicates the main word of the title (in this case, Listening to Children). "43" indicates the volume or issue number of the document. "995" indicates the publication year (1995). Years always come before letters. Example: ED 1.102:995 shelved before ED 1.102: C 43/995.
Online Online electronic documents are labeled with the publication year plus a unique identification number. Example: ED 1.102:2001043336


NOTE: In the above example, ED 1.102 is called the Class Number (or Stem) and C 43/995 is called the the Book Number.