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Government Documents and Information

Guide to Government Documents and Information

Thompson Library COVIT-19 Update

OSU Libraries reopened August 25th.  Face masks by are required both in the library and outside.  Please adhere to the 6-foot rule.  Stacks are closed.  All circulated materials are quarantined before being made available again.  Materials brought to the circulation desk by a patron will be immediately quarantined and unavailable for circulation for 5 days.

Make requests for circulating materials including Government documents via the catalog at  Notification via email will be sent when materials are available for pick up.  Non-OSU affiliated patrons wishing to use Government Documents can either place an Interlibrary Loan request with their local public, academic, or corporate library or contact the Thompson Library Government Documents Coordinator - Mary Ann Ries ( to arrange for materials to be made available. 

Because of COVIT-19, access to seating, study areas, public computers, printers are limited.  Check availability before coming.

Government Information and Microforms Office Hours:  Monday and Thursdays by appointment only.  By email ( Monday-Friday.

Government Documents and Information

Introduction to Government Resources


Government is made for the people, made by the people,
and answerable to the people.

Government Officials have an obligation to explain their decisions and actions to the general public.  Government publications play a key role in this accountability.

Government publications - at all levels - are today a major source of information in practically every field of endeavor and are crucial to informed public decision-making.

Depository Libraries provide access to government publications.  The Ohio State University has two Federal Depository Libraries on its Main Campus.  Thompson Library has been a depository since 1907, and Moritz Law Library become one in 1984.  Thompson Library is also a depository for the State of Ohio and for the European Union.

All levels of government from local to international treaty organizations produce documents and information.  In general the larger the entity the more likely it is to publish. These publications range the gamut from primary source materials for scholarly research to informational pamphlets for the general public.

General Resources for Locating  Government Publications


Specialized Resources for Locating Government Publications


Other Useful or Fun Resources Associated with Government Publications