Government Documents 2022-04-27T10:10:41+00:00

Government Documents

What We Have

Watson Library is a 35% selective depository for Federal Government documents. Designated as a depository in 1887, Watson Library is one of the oldest depositories in the state of Louisiana. As a heritage depository, our collection mingles new documents with historical items.

Government information covers a wide range of topics including Agriculture, Business, Education, Health, History, Science, and Statistics. When searching the library’s online catalog for these and other topics, expect to find government documents listed in your results. Many government documents are now issued in electronic format, so look for a URL link when accessing government information. Documents published in electronic format are not necessarily websites, but are merely published works distributed through the Internet.

In compliance with Title 44 U.S.C. §§1901 -1916 (2010), all Federal Depository Library content is available for free use by the general public residing in the Natchitoches area and Louisiana 4th Congressional Distric. While only Northwestern State University affiliates or Friends of the Library may check documents out of the library, there is a scanner available for anyone to scan library material free of charge and save it to a flash drive.

Watson Library is a selective Louisiana State Documents Depository. Search State documents through the library catalog. Most State documents are located in the Cammie G. Henry Research Center located on the third floor of Watson Library. For uncataloged and ephemeral documents, see the Research Center staff.

How To Find It

All government documents published 1976-Present, which are held by Watson Library are listed in the library’s online public access catalog (OPAC). This includes electronic-only titles as well as documents published in paper, microfiche, video, and DVD/CD formats.

Click on the URL provided to access electronic-only titles. Otherwise, note the location and the call number to find items located in the Government Documents Reading Room on the first floor of the library.

For government documents published before 1976, you may use the print indices in the Reference Room on the first floor of the library.

When in doubt, consult the reference librarian on duty.

About the Federal Depository Library Program

The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. It distributes materials in a variety of formats, including electronic, CD, microfiche, and paper. As part of its publishing program, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) distributes certain classes of Government documents free of cost to designated libraries throughout the United States and its territories. These libraries are known as Federal depository libraries.

Federal depository libraries must offer free, public access to their Federal collections, even if the depository library is part of a private academic institution. In addition, information specialists are available at these libraries to assist the American public to locate Federal information.


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