law library: Government Documents

Visit our Federal Documents Guide for links to on-line resources

DOCUMENTS COLLECTION

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Golden Gate University Law Library has been a selective Federal depository since 1979 and a depository for selected California government publications since 1973. The majority of our government documents are integrated into our general collection and are fully-cataloged in our online catalog. Our catalog also links to many other government documents and agencies available online. Reference assistance for government documents is provided by all members of the reference staff at our Reference Desk.

Golden Gate University Law Library complies with Title 44, §1911 of the United States Code by allowing the general public entrance to the law library without charge to use the depository materials. Members of the public seeking entrance to the Golden Gate University Law Library for the purpose of accessing government documents must sign a log-in binder at the Circulation Desk.  Access to the Federal Depository Collection entitles members of the public to use those publications received through the Federal Depository Library Program and online within the FDLP only; it does not entitle use of the Law Library’s general collections, services (except reference services regarding the Federal Depository Collection), or physical space. Once the user has completed his/her use of the federal depository documents, s/he is required to leave the Law Library.

As a selective depository, Golden Gate University Law Library receives only a small portion (apporximately 10%) of federal depository materials.  The majority of those items selected are currently available online. The law library selects items that meet the research and curriculum needs of law students and faculty.  A more extensive collection of government documents is available at San Francisco Public Library’s Government Information Center, which is located at 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, near the Civic Center BART station.  It offers public access to one of the largest and oldest government document collections in Northern California.The collection includes census publications for all decennial censuses, economic censuses, statistics, annual reports, legislation, statutes, codes, regulations, treaties, military history, and major publications of federal departments.

Below are links to primary government sites and documents, as well as links to other sites of interest to researchers of government information. The following list suggests the best sites to find government information available online for federal, state, international, and foreign levels of government.

WORKSTATION

Selected government publications are available via hot links in our online public access catalog. The referenced links are available to any person with Internet access. The law library also provides a dedicated government documents work station from which the general public may access these sites free of charge. Printing is available for a nominal fee per page. There is a time limit of 20 minutes when others are waiting to use the government documents work station. The law library does not use filtering software.

Some government documents are distributed in electronic formats such as CD-Roms and DVDs. The law library has a small collection of these materials. Patrons have free access to these materials and may ask the library staff to unlock the cabinet in which they are stored. The materials may be used at the government documents work station. Patrons may email large files to their own email box using a web-based email service (e.g., Hotmail, Yahoo mail, etc.) and may temporarily save such files to the hard drive of the government documents workstation for this purpose. Saved files are removed regularly from the hard drive.

Some government documents are distributed in microfiche. The law library provides a microfiche reader and printer to use these documents. Printing is available for a nominal fee.

HOMELAND SECURITY DIGITAL LIBRARY

"The Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) is the nation's premier collection of documents relating to homeland security policy, strategy, and organizational management. The HSDL supports federal, state, local, and tribal analysis and decision-making needs, and assists academics of all disciplines in homeland defense and security related research." This site is available to all users within the law library. It is not available to the general public from off-site.