Visitor Information

Collection Overview

The Ohio State University Libraries (OSUL) has been actively and systematically acquiring government documents since it became a depository library.  It currently collects about 75 percent of all materials offered through the FDLP program.  Although through the years the areas of interest have changed slightly as the University’s academic needs have shifted, OSUL has significant holdings in the following subject areas:


Business and Finance

Census and Demographics

Defense and Military History




Geography and Maps

Health and Safety


International, including Treaties

Politics and Law

Science and Technology

Social Sciences

Since 1996, records for all government documents currently held are in OSUL's catalog.  Many government publications have been integrated into OSUL's circulating, reference or special collections, while the remaining recent federal documents are shelved by Sudoc in room 215 Thompson Library for up to 5 years.  This room also contains depository microfiche, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM collections not housed in other locations, and is organized by either Sudoc for microfiche or Library of Congress Call Number for electronic media.  Most materials are available in open shelves/cabinets, although some of the material is at the OSUL Book Depository and must be specially requested.  Unless otherwise stated in the catalog, CD-ROMs and DVDs are available for check-out.  Search the OSU Libraries' online catalog, to determine locations and call numbers of specific government publications held by OSU Libraries.  Besides the tangible documents an increasing amount of the Government Publications collection is web-based and accessible thru OSU’s catalog.

OSUL is a Selective Depository for the State of Ohio, receiving general publications from state agencies only.  Ohio Depository Documents are handled in a similar manner as the Federal. Documents received in the last five years and not integrated into OSU’s circulating, etc. collections are shelved in room 215 Thompson in Ohio Document Number order. Those received since 2001 and selected older titles are cataloged. 

OSUL is also a depository for European Union documents.  Although some of the European Union publications received are cataloged and integrated into OSUL's collection, most holdings are available only in digital form.   

OSUL receives selected Ohio county and city publications.  Other governmental publications are cataloged and integrated into OSUL’s collection on a case by case basis. 

Besides depository acquisitions, OSUL purchases additional government publications, non-depository documents, and indexes to aid in locating government information.