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FDLP - Federal Depository Library Program, Government Documents

This guide is designed to help you navigate and access our digital Government document collections.

What is the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)?

The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. Every day the U.S. Government issues congressional bills, laws, regulations, presidential documents, studies, and more on a variety of topics. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), administered by the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), was established by Congress in 1813 to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information.

A Federal depository library is a library that has been designated by Congress to provide the public with access to select U.S. Government documents. Anyone can visit Federal depository libraries and use the collections within free of charge.

The Hampden-Sydney College Library has been a Federal depository library since 1891! 

What Resources Will I Find at a Federal Depository Library?

  • Information on health, careers, business opportunities, the military, science, technology, travel, nutrition, and more.
  • Access to digital Government information resources, including government publications, presidential writings, and more.
  • Historical publications dating back to the early days of the United States.
  • Books, maps, microfiche, journals, and periodicals (please keep in mind that Bortz Library's print government document collections have been reduced, as more content becomes available online).

In addition to the print and digital collections accessible through Bortz Library, Hampden-Sydney students, faculty, and staff have access to government collections at the University of Virginia (UVA) through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services! UVA is a Regional Federal Depository Library, and as such retains copies of all government publications received. 

The authority for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the legal obligations of designated Federal depository libraries are found in 44 United States Code §§1901‐1916.