The U.S. Documents collection at UC Berkeley is one of the most comprehensive and historical collections in the United States and supports the research and teaching of the university, as well as the research interests of the local communities of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Library has collected from all three branches of government (legislative, executive, judicial) and has been a federal depository for over 130 years, though many materials in the collection date back to the founding of the nation.
Free public access to United States government documents in a federal depository library is guaranteed by law (44 USC §1911). While UC Berkeley houses one of the most comprehensive collections of U.S. government documents in the country, the Library is one of over a thousand Federal Depository Libraries across the United States, and one of several Federal Depository Libraries in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) allows designated libraries around the country to receive official copies of U.S. government documents from the U.S. Government Publishing Office with the agreement that these documents be made available to anyone who wishes to see them. While the program has its origins in a print-based society, the FDLP has been morphing with increasing electronic access to documents.
Federal Depository Libraries contain materials intended for the public. Collections may include congressional hearings, agency reports, statistics, official prints of presidential speeches, consumer education, federal court decisions, and other documents. FDLP libraries do not contain military records or internal agency materials, although some libraries may have special collection items or microfiche copies with this material. Internal agency materials and military records can be found in the National Archives.
The UC Berkeley Library is one of over 1200 depository libraries in the U.S. UC Berkeley currently receives over 80% of the available publications, and houses one of the most comprehensive historical collections in the country. UC Berkeley is not the only depository in the San Francisco Bay Area; there are depository libraries from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa as illustrated by the below map. To find other depository libraries across the U.S, visit the Depository Library Directory.
Need help with research? Have a question about the collection or the UC Berkeley Library? Here are three ways to get in touch with me: