Our government documents are arranged using the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) classification numbers. This is a different arrangement from the Dewey and Library of Congress arrangements used elsewhere in the library.
Unlike the other classification methods, the SuDocs system is based not on the subject of the work but on its source--the agency which issued it. Titles near each other on the shelf will be published by the same agency, not about the same topic.
A look at the SuDocs number will tell you the issuing agency, what type of publication, and the individual number of the document. Every SuDocs number begins with one or more letters to designate the sponsoring agency.
The numbering is not decimal, but each part of the numbering system is a discrete number.
The following maybe helpful in explaining the system to you. However, we are always happy to assist in finding government resources.
|LC||Library of Congress|
If sub-agencies or departments issue documents, they may be identified by number.
|A 1.||Agriculture Department|
|A 13.||Forestry Service|
|A 57.||Soil Conservation Service|
The series designation (which follows the period) identifies the general type of document.
|.6||regulations, rules, instructions|
|.8||handbooks, manuals, guides|
|.11||maps and charts|
|.14||addresses, lectures, etc.|
These categories may be further subdivided with slashes (\) or dashes (-).
The agency and type of publication combine to make up the class stem (to the left of the colon). The addition of an individual item number (to the right of the colon) gives each publication a unique SuDocs number. Every SuDocs number contains a colon.
|A 1.10:948||Agriculture Yearbook, 1948 edition|
|A 1.10:996||Agriculture Yearbook, 1996 edition|
|A 1.35:381||Original edition|
|A 1.35:381/2||Revised edition|