map and government information library :: about us :: policies :: collection development policies

Collection Development Policies

Federal | State of Georgia | International | Cartographic Resources

Federal Documents

The University of Georgia Libraries was first designated Federal Depository Library as a land grant institution in 1907 and designated as the regional Federal Depository Library for the State of Georgia in 1977. As a regional Federal Depository Library, the UGA Libraries is expected to ensure the comprehensiveness and integrity of a tangible federal documents collection in the state along with appropriate resources to support access to the collection. Collection development activities for the federal documents collection are done in accordance with the Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program and the Georgia State Plan for Federal Depository Libraries.

Collection Scope

As a regional Federal Depository Library, the Libraries collects and permanently retains all federal government publications that are distributed through the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s Federal Depository Library Program. The Libraries works to ensure the comprehensiveness of its regional federal documents collection by filling in gaps in the collection with gift materials received from discard lists from the state’s selective Federal Depository Libraries and elsewhere.

The Libraries collects federal government information in all formats (print, microform, tangible electronic, and digital). As a regional Federal Depository Library, the Libraries is only required to retain a single format of all tangible publications (i.e. if a title is published in both paper and microfiche, the Libraries only has to keep it in one format). In general, the Libraries does not keep or acquire duplicates of federal government documents for its collection. However, consideration will be given to acquiring and retaining duplicate copies of heavily used federal documents that contain information about Georgia or the Southeast.

As a regional Federal Depository Library, the Libraries cannot substitute digital publications for tangible publications unless they meet the criteria described under the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s Regional Discard Policy.

Government publications from federal agencies that were not distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program (aka “fugitive documents”) may be added to enhance the federal documents collection. In addition, the Libraries has subscribed to the Readex/Newsbank U.S. Non-Depository Collection in microprint and microfiche since 1953.

Collection Arrangement

Federal government documents are housed in the Map and Government Information Library, the Science Library, the Repository, and the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries; visit the U.S. Government Documents page for further details on collection locations. Most federal documents are shelved using the Superintendent of Documents Classification system; maps are either filed alphabetically or classified and filed by Library of Congress call number with non-depository maps.

Collection Access

Locations and holdings information for federal documents published from 1976 to present as well as select older documents are indicated in GIL. Holdings information for federal documents published prior to 1976 is listed in the the Map and Government Information Library’s federal documents shelflist. Work to add holdings information to GIL for federal documents published prior to 1976 is ongoing.

Access to government information – particularly Congressional documents – is also available through a variety of free and subscription databases; however, these resources are intended to supplement rather than replace the tangible federal documents collection.

Most federal government documents circulate for standard loan periods. Items and material types that do not circulate are listed on the Map and Government Information Library's Borrowing Policies page.

Collection Maintenance

While regional Federal Depository Libraries are required to permanently retain one copy of all publications distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program in their collections, the Libraries does a limited amount of weeding under certain circumstances:

Duplicate and certain superseded items (e.g. maps and older materials) may be offered to other depository libraries on the National Needs and Offers List and through other appropriate venues. However, per the Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program the Libraries is not allowed to sell federal government documents it does not need.

Binding for current federal government periodicals is done on a regular basis whenever a volume is completed. Heavily used documents such as reference sources or Census publications may be bound when received or as needed. Retrospective binding of the collection is done when documents that need to be bound or rebound are identified through regular stacks maintenance activities.

Preservation activities including basic page repair, rebinding, and placing materials identified as brittle in protective enclosures to prevent further deterioration and damage.

Attempts are made to replace badly worn, damaged, or deteriorating documents by purchase, through discard lists received from the state’s selective Federal Depository Libraries, from the National Needs and Offers List, and other appropriate venues.

[ back to top ]

State of Georgia Documents

While the University of Georgia Libraries have been collecting Georgia documents for many years, it was designated the official depository for Georgia government publications in 1993. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-5-2 mandates agencies and departments within the executive branch of the Georgia state government deposit in the University of Georgia Libraries five print copies and one electronic copy of publications that are produced with the intent to distribute to the public. The Governor and all other officers who are required to make reports to the General Assembly are also required to submit copies.

The five print copies are distributed to the Georgia Documents Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia at the University of Georgia Libraries for digitization in the Georgia Government Publications database, Odum Library at Valdosta State University, Zach S. Henderson Library at Georgia Southern University, and the Georgia Archives. After digitization the Digital Library of Georgia copy is sent to the Library of Congress.

In addition to print and electronic copies, agencies are required to submit publications produced in any of the following formats: CD-ROM, DVD, DVD-ROM, maps, posters, video recordings, etc. Forms and internal agency publications are not included as required submissions. Although OCGA 20-5-2 specifies that reports of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the journals of the House and Senate, and the session laws enacted by the General Assembly are not required for deposit, the UGA Libraries receives copies of these publications as part of the Georgia Documents Collection.

Publications by individual units of the University System of Georgia are not considered state documents in this collection. However, the Board of Regents is a state agency, and as such its publications are part of the Georgia Documents Collection. Although some publications of the Regional Development Centers (RDCs) are included in the Georgia Documents Collection, their legal counsel advised that these are not considered state agencies because the RDCs do not receive the state funding that state agencies receive; therefore, they are not required to comply.

The Georgia Government Publications database, a project of the Digital Library of Georgia, GALILEO, and the University of Georgia Libraries, provides online public access to the full text of public documents of departments and agencies within the Georgia state government published from 1994 to the present.

Documents in all formats published by the State of Georgia from 1876 to date are located in the Georgia Documents Collection in the Map and Government Information Library. Documents published prior to 1876 are located in the Hargrett Library's Georgiana Collection.

Audit reports produced by the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts published prior to 2000, additional copies of Georgia government publications, and select titles that are available in the Georgia Government Publications database are housed at the Libraries’ Repository.

No documents published by states other than Georgia are included in the Map and Government Information Library's collections.

[ back to top ]

International Documents

African

The UGA Libraries no longer collects African documents. Previously collected annual reports of government departments and the gazettes of the legislatures of selected countries are available either in microform at the Main Library or in print at the Libraries’ Repository.

British

The government publications of the United Kingdom are issued by the Stationery Office and are divided into two groups: non-Parliamentary (department or agency) and Parliamentary. The University of Georgia Libraries receive the Parliamentary publications in various formats that are housed in the Map and Government Information Library. Parliamentary documents include: the House of Lords and House of Commons papers; bills; command papers; debates (Hansard); acts; votes; proceedings; and some statistical publications. Non-Parliamentary British documents in the Libraries are purchased by bibliographers and classified in LC.

Canadian

The University of Georgia Libraries was a selective depository for publications of the Government of Canada through 2013, when the Depository Services Program was discontinued. The collection was substantially weeded in 2016 to focus primarily on materials related to the sciences. Canadian documents are housed in the Science Library, and Libraries’ Repository.

French

French documents are not currently collected by the Map and Government Inforamtion Library, although they may be added to the Libraries’ collections at the discretion of bibliographers and classified in LC. The official gazettes and some legislative publications of the French government previously received are housed at the Libraries’ Repository, except for microforms, which are housed in the Map and Government Information Library.

United Nations

The University of Georgia Libraries has a standing order for United Nations Sales Publications in all available subject categories. In addition, subscriptions are maintained for the Official Records of the principal organs of the United Nations, as well as the Treaty Series and selected periodicals.

Not included in the United Nations documents print collection are mimeographed documents, most International Court of Justice documents, and documents from specialized agencies and other autonomous organizations within the United Nations system (e.g., International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, etc).

In addition, a standing order for the Readex microprint/microfiche edition of the United Nations publications is maintained. This includes a complete collection of the mimeographed and printed documents as well as the Official Records of the principal organs of the United Nations. Also included are the documents of every committee, commission, conference and seminar of the principal organs. Sales publications are not all included in the microform collection.

All United Nations publications listed above are housed Map and Government Information Library regardless of subject matter. Other United Nations publications may be found in the Main Library's collections.

[ back to top ]

Cartographic Resources

The Map and Government Information Library develops and maintains a modern, research-oriented collection of cartographic resources in all formats. The Map and Government Information Library’s holdings include:

  • Sheet maps - current and historical U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps; topographic map sets for most countries in various scales; worldwide nautical and aeronautical charts; select thematic, country and city maps from around the world with an emphasis on the United States and the State of Georgia
  • Atlases - general reference, national, historical and thematic
  • Aerial photography and remoted sensed imagery, primarily of the State of Georgia
  • Journals related to map collections and map librarianship
  • Gazetteers and place name guides
  • Cartographic reference materials
  • GIS data, including subscription databases

Duplication of cartographic material between the Map and Government Information Library and other UGA Libraries is usually limited to general reference atlases; however, exceptions can be made to meet user needs.

All cartographic materials are housed in the Map and Government Information Library with the following exceptions:

[ back to top ]