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Cataloging Toolbox for U.S. Federal Government Information

Depository Regulations and Guides


The Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program provides member libraries with a single, concise resource to consult for the current legal and Program obligations of libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program. The document is divided into three parts:

  • Part I: Authority prefaces the document and explains the basis for the content.
  • Part II: Legal Requirements of Federal Depository Libraries provides a concise summary of the legal requirements found in Title 44 U.S.C. 1901-1916 (2010).
  • Part III: Federal Depository Library Program Regulations lists the Superintendent of Documents' most current FDLP regulations that govern the FDLP member libraries

Note that the Superintendent of Documents updated public access requirements for depository collections (as public access to Government information is a key statutory obligation of depository libraries) in a January 10, 2023 letter.


1. One can find information such as the FDLP Quickstart Guide, processing tools, cataloging records, instructions on how to use various FDLP services, and guidance on how to comply with the FDLP regulations. The following are tools that are listed on the website under Collection Tools to help you when processing depository items:

2. FDLP Guide

3. “Help I am an FDLP Student Worker.” It contains information and resources to help train student and paraprofessional employees

4. The GODORT LibGuides, which replaces the Government Information Clearinghouse & Handout Exchange or the GODORT Exchange by the GODORT Education Committee, may include some guides on processing procedures that are used by a variety of libraries. Please contact us to add a link to your library's depository processing (and cataloging) guide!

One can find information such as the FDLP Quickstart Guide, processing tools, cataloging records, instructions on how to use various FDLP services, and guidance on how to comply with the FDLP regulations. The following are tools that are listed on the website under Collection Tools to help you when processing depository items:

FDLP COVID-19 Toolkit, includes resources for depository library users and staff.

Other Depository Processing Tools

Depository Selection Information Management System (DSIMS) allows Federal depository librarians to view and manage their item selection profiles.

Item Lister

Use the Item Lister to find which item your library has selected or not selected. It is arranged by item number. Use this tool in conjunction with the List of Classes for detailed information about item numbers. Users may need to use the browser Internet Explorer to access Item Lister.

List of Classes

List of Classes is the official listing of publications available for selection by depository libraries. The main paper version and the revised update are available for download for easier access. Another file available for download is the List of Classes for online-only item numbers.

Shipping Lists

From the website: “Shipping lists are a list of publications that are mailed to libraries in their depository distribution boxes. Several shipping lists may be found in a depository shipment box. In addition to the paper copies that arrive in depository shipment boxes, electronic versions of shipping lists are posted online.” There are four different shipping list types: P = Paper, M=Microfiche, E = Electronic (e.g., DVDs, CDs), S = Separates. If a shipping list is missing from a shipment box, one can view it online or download it. Only the current two years are posted on this page (see also DDM3).

Final Shipping List Numbers for FY

The final shipping lists issued for each FY are usually announced as a news item on To find them, simply enter "Final Shipping List" in the search box on the page and choose "site" from the search menu. It is helpful to know what these are since at the start of a fiscal year there is a period of time when shipping lists from the old and new year are still arriving. M lists in particular tend to run quite late. :

Archived Shipping Lists

Shipping lists that are more than one year old and up to 2001 are archived, click on the “archived shipping lists” from the shipping lists page to view the previous lists (See also DDM3).

Shipping Lists This Week

The most current shipping lists are listed on this webpage.

WEBTech Notes

This is a place where changes are posted regarding a particular depository item. Information such as class number changes, item number changes, another format added to a GPO item, or PURL updates are posted here. An RSS feed is available to get first-hand updated information on any changes on depository items.


askGPO is GPO's Online Knowledge Base (frequently referred to as the Customer Relations Management “CRM”). It is designed to be a single point of contact for those with questions for GPO. Use askGPO to post questions on issues such as claims, classification discrepancy, shipments, etc., or search for answers to a question.

Documents Data Miner 3 (DDM3)

DDM 3 is a library management system for United States Government Documents. It is a valuable website for processing depository items. One can retrieve shipping lists from 1997 to the present, customize shipping lists for a specific depository, look up items in the List of Classes, check if a title has been discontinued or made inactive, look up the superseded list, or identify the library owner of misdirected shipments using the Federal Depository Library Directory file. No specific browser is required; however, users must have cookies and javascript turned on when searching the site. Registration is required.


H. Vernon Leighton, Government Documents Librarian at Winona State University, generously shared Autodocs—an electronic check-in and shelflist system, with the Federal Depository Library Communities to make the task easier. From the Autodocs website, “Autodocs is an electronic check-in and shelflist system designed to be used with Microsoft Access. Version 1.5 can be used with Access 2007 or later. It has been tested on Access 2013. It allows one to download an electronic shipping list to check-in and shelflist receipts without keying in shipping list data. There is a method of handling items that regularly arrive without a shipping list. Labels are generated only at the end of the session, not at the end of each shipping list, thereby reducing the number of wasted blank labels. The SuDoc sorting feature uses an algorithm developed by Stan Price at USC Aiken in the late 1990s.”

Federal Depository Library Directory

Federal Depository Library profiles include information about the library’s Congressional District, library and depository type, depository library number, the library’s physical address, type of collections, websites, and contacts. Use the directory to identify the library owner of misdirected FDLP shipments.