Government Documents

government document materials
Main Library
Louis Stokes Wing
4th Floor
525 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114

Supervisor: Sarah Dobransky

About the Department

The Government Documents Department contains publications published and distributed by the United States Government Publishing Office. As a congressionally-designated federal depository, the Cleveland Public Library selects publications originating from all agencies of the federal government and covering all topics. The Library has been a federal depository since 1886 and is one of the most comprehensive collections in northeast Ohio.

The Government Documents Department Recommends…
NPS Logo

National Park Free Admission Days

The National Park Service, in celebration of its 100-year anniversary, announced a number of Free Admission Days in 2016. There are still two left:

  • September 24: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

For additional information, check out the National Park Service website.

American Flag from

Election 2016

Do you ever wonder what goes on in a federal election? How does someone become the President of the United States? What is a campaign and how are the candidates paying for those fancy ads on television?
Check out this resource guide to answer your election questions!

The Federal Election Commission

Have you ever wondered who determines how candidates raise campaign funds? What is campaign finance and why do we need it? How have your favorite candidates raised money? Find out the answers to these questions and more from the Federal Election Commission.
Elections…the American Way

Get the basics on elections from the Library of Congress. Find out who can run, who can vote, what political parties are, what the election process is, and how issues shape a campaign.
Ben’s Guide

Hey kids! Want to learn about how our government works? You can discover how laws are made, who makes up the three branches of government, how voting works in America, and other great information. You can find games, online adventures, and a special section dedicated to one of America’s founding fathers, Ben Franklin! Enjoy this wonderful resource from the United States Government Publishing Office.
Election Assistance Commission

The United States Election Assistance Commission was formed through the Help America Vote Act of 2002. You can find information about voting in your state, how to sign up as a poll worker, and how the government is making voting accessible to everyone through the Americans with Disabilities Act.
What is the Electoral College?

From the National Archives and Records Administration, find out about the Electoral College and its role in choosing our nation’s leaders. Established by the Constitution, the Founding Fathers created “a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.”
How to Become President

The Constitution established the Executive Branch of the government which is headed by the President. But do you know how a person can become the head of our nation? Follow this chart to see all the steps necessary to become the Commander in Chief.
The Constitution

Article II of the United States Constitution establishes the Executive Office, naming the President as the head and Vice President to work alongside for a four year term. This Article of the Constitution also established what we know as the Electoral College with a few changes through the 12th Amendment.

As a Federal Depository Library, public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law (Title 44 United States Code).


The Federal Depository Collection

  • U.S. Census: 1790 to date, is available in a combination of book, microform and CD-ROM. Included are the decennial Census of Population and Housing and the non-decennial Agriculture and Economic Censuses (Retail, Wholesale and Services).
  • Congress and Legislation: Biographical information on the legislators; committee assignments; Federal department rosters; and domestic and foreign consular listings. Progress of any legislation can be traced using these resources. Also available are Congressional committee hearings, reports, documents, prints, public laws, and legislative histories back to 1789.
  • Consumer Publications: The Consumer Information Catalog and the online Sales Product Catalog. The Consumer Action Handbook helps consumers navigate today`s complex marketplace.
  • Laws and Regulations: Current public laws, as well as permanent volumes of the Statutes-At-Large and the U.S. Code. The Code of Federal Regulations dates back to 1938. Federal Register dates back to 1936.
  • Office of the US President: Official activities and communications of the President of the United States, including Executive Orders and Proclamations. On this topic, Government Documents also recommends:
  • Statistics: Search federal statistical publications from the 1960`s to the present by geographic divisions, by commodities and income, and by numerous other qualifiers, including age, race, sex, and education.
  • Basic Collection:The federal depository program also mandates a basic collection of documents that should be readily-available, some of which are linked above. Check out a full list of documents here: Federal Depository Library Program: Basic Collection Online

Although not government publications, Congressional Publications and Statistical Insight are two databases that can be used to access government documents and information. Both of these can be accessed through Cleveland Public Library’s Research Databases page.