Charles E. Young Research Library

The UCLA Library Celebrated 75 Years as a Federal Depository

The UCLA Library was designated a federal depository library in February 1932 by Senator Samuel Shortridge. Since that time, the library has received publications from agencies of the three branches of government and provided access to them. 

Objectives of the Federal Depository Library Program

  • The purpose of depository libraries is to make U.S. Government information regardless of format accessible to the public and to provide for its continued availability in the future.
  • The purpose shall be achieved by a system of cooperation wherein depository libraries will select Federal public information at no charge in return for making it freely accessible to the public in their Congressional district or local area.
  • These guidelines mandate the level of performance required of all depositories unless otherwise specified by statute or regulations.

from: The Federal Depository Library Manual, Supplement; 2: Guidelines for the Federal Depository Library Program

Examples of Federal Publications

The federal government publishes and disseminates materials on a variety of topics and in many formats:

  • Arts
    The Changing Faces of Tradition: A Report on the Folk and Traditional Arts in the United States, 1996 Available Online


  • Environment
    Toxic Release Inventory on floppy disc and CD-ROM


  • Geology
    U.S. Soil Survey of Los Angeles County, California , West San Fernando Valley Area, 1979; print report with maps.


  • Health
    Empowering Youth with Nutrition and Physical Activity


  • Land Acquisition and Surveys
    The Public Domain, Its History with Statistics, 1884


  • Native Americans
    Board of Indian Commissioners. Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners, 1870


  • Maps
    CIA Map of Iraq


  • Military History
    The Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps, 2007 Rev. Ed.


  • Other
    NASA Earth Observations Serving Society


    The 9/11 Commission report : final report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States.

    United States Senate catalogue of fine art

Publications related to Federal Legislation

Examples of publications when a bill goes through the U.S. Congress to become a law, in this case for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Hearing about the bill, H.R. 1, Testimony by concerned parties

Congressional Record when the bill was discussed, the official transcript of debates in the House and Senate

Conference Report on H.R. 1, Report of selected members of the House and Senate, who met to resolve two versions of the bill

Statutes at Large, the full text of the bill when it became law, Public Law 107-110

The U.S. Code

Code of Federal Regulations, how the law is implemented

    The Bay of Pigs Invasion: United States, Cuba, and the Soviet Union - examples of federal publications related to the study of international relations and foreign policy.

    Many government materials have been published for a long time in print or microform. Libraries and federal agencies are now digitizing these historical sets and making the full text available online free of charge.

    Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States - Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy
    Text of presidential speeches, press conferences, statements, and other documents, the Public Papers series is the hardcover compilation of the materials previously published in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents.

    Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)
    Published by the U.S. Department of State, FRUS presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. UCLA has this set in print and microform. Selected volumes are available full text online from the Department of State and the University of Wisconsin has digitized the set as well and made it available.

    Declassified Documents via Declassified Documents Reference System and Digital National Security Archive
    These databases provide a full-text collection of declassified U.S. government records, including correspondence and memoranda, minutes of cabinet meetings, technical studies, national security policy statements, and intelligence reports. Though they are not distributed via the federal depository program, collections like these are important complements to federal records and are essential to the study of foreign policy.

    United States Treaties and Other International Agreements Series
    A formally signed and ratified agreement between nations or sovereigns is frequently described as a treaty. Information on treaties and international agreements can be found in several sources, depending upon the nature of the treaty, such as the date, number of parties, and whether the U.S. wa a party). This set provides the full text of treaties between the U.S. and other countries since 1952; treaties prior to 1952 have been compiled and published by Charles I. Bevans, Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America, 1776-1949 (Washington, DC: Department of State, 1968-76).

      We The People, Statistics on America

      There are fifteen principal agencies responsible for collecting and compiling statistical information about the American people, land, water, air, social services, and other characteristics:

      • Bureau of Economic Analysis
      • Bureau of Justice Statistics
      • Bureau of Labor Statistics
      • Bureau of Transportation Statistics
      • Census Bureau
      • Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service
      • Energy Information Administration
      • Environmental Protection Agency
      • Internal Revenue Service: Statistics of Income
      • National Agricultural Statistics Service
      • National Center for Education Statistics
      • National Center for Health Statistics
      • National Science Foundation: Science Resources Statistics
      • Office of Management and Budget
      • Social Security Administration Office of Policy

      In addition, there are now more than one hundred federal agencies with statistical programs.

      U.S. Census Bureau Decennial Census
      1790 Census, the first decennial census
      2000 Census, via American Factfinder

      U.S. Department of Education: National Center for Education Statistics
      Digest of Education Statistics

      U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Office of Immigration Statistics
      Immigration Statistics Web site
      Yearbook of Immigration Statistics