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Cataloging Toolbox for U.S. Federal Government Information

GPO Cataloging Guidelines

The U.S. Government Publishing Office GPO Cataloging Guidelines is regularly updated. GPO provides cataloging guidelines for bibliographic cataloging, name authorities, subject cataloging and other metadata schemes and lists the standards GPO applies in cataloging. A List of Major Changes to the GPO Guidelines Guidelines provides descriptions about significant modifications. GPO is a member of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), whose programs define high quality cataloging standards for members who contribute bibliographic records and related data to bibliographic utilities and also contribute to the National Authority File. A PDF version of the Guidelines is published semiannually. Questions on GPO-specific practices in the guidelines are submitted through askGPO indicating “Cataloging: Policies & Practices” in the subject area and answers are archived and searchable.

Superintendent of Documents Classification Guidelines

The Superintendent of Documents Classification Guidelines were developed by staff in the U.S. Government Publishing Office in 2017, Library Services and Content Management, Library Technical Services section, with assistance from other staff.

  • The Guidelines provide structure, class stems, and instructions by publication type and a history of the styem. It also includes guidelines for classifying electronic products and digital reproductions. Questions on GPO-specific practices in the classification guidelines are submitted through askGPO indicating “Classification Guidelines” and answers are archived and searchable. 
  • The Superintendent of Documents Classification System (SuDocs), also called SuDoc, is assigned to resources in the records of the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, and is based on the current organizational structure of the Federal Government. Subordinate bureaus and divisions are grouped with the parent organization. The system was developed by GPO staff between 1895 and 1903, and superseded guidance is available from each page of the Guidelines.

Library Services and Content Management Year in Review

Access this annual title for information about the Cataloging and Indexing Program:

  • National Bibliographic Records Inventory Initiative
  • Catalog Records on GitHub
  • Superintendent of Documents Classification Guidelines
  • Cataloging Guidelines
  • Cataloging Record Distribution Program