Government publications contains collections of government information published through the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) as well as from the Washington State government agencies made available through the Washington State Library (40.06 RCW). Government publications are located on the third floor of the James E. Brooks Library on the Ellensburg campus. Government Publications also houses the Libraries' maps and microforms collections.
U.S. Government Information
CWU Libraries has been an official depository for U.S. government publications since 1962, currently receiving about 37% of the available material—the majority of which is now received online. We also have historical materials in tangible formats including maps, atlases, globes, historic microform sets, and some key print publications.
Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) call numbers, which arrange materials by government agency rather than subject, are used to organize U.S. government information. Much of our resources may be found in OneSearch and in the specialized databases listed below.
This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code)
Finding information in U.S. government databases
USA.gov is an Executive Branch portal that provides search access to interagency sites and social media content.
USA.gov en Español.
GovInfo is the official repository of the U.S. government. Contents include current legislative, administrative, and legal information that needs to be accessible immediately after release.
U.S. Government Documents Registry is a database from the HathiTrust digital library composed of metadata from U.S. federal documents dating back to 1790. This is not comprehensive as it depends upon depository libraries adding materials to the registry. It is a great place to begin your research.
MetaLib is a "federated search engine that searches across multiple U.S. federal government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations while providing direct links to selected resources available." It was created by the U.S. Government Publishing Office.
Law & legislation websites and government databases
Congress.gov contains current legislative information. It is an excellent resource for U.S. bills, committee reports, and other information regarding federal legislation. The United States Congress is said to be a bicameral body which means that it comprises of two legislative bodies.
U.S. House of Representatives is the lower body and its representation is based on population. Each member of the House represents a certain number of people which is based on the U.S. census. More populous states have more representatives while less populous states have fewer representatives. The absolute minimum a state can have is one representative.
U.S. Senate is the upper body of Congress and each state has two senators. Each state gets an equal number of senators. If a new state were to emerge, that state would automatically get two senators to represent them.
U.S. Supreme Court is the last chance arbiter of the law. They are the ones who have the final say on how a law is interpreted. They base their decisions on legal precedent and the U.S. Constitution.
Tools for locating U.S. government publications
OneSearch contains subject and keyword indexing for most U.S. and Washington State publications in the government publications collection. Links to publications available online are included in the records.
Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789 - 1909 contains a listing of government publications titles published before 1909.
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) is an index of U.S. government information published from 1976 to present. SuDoc numbers are listed and direct links to available websites are included.
Monthly Catalog of United State Government Publications (MOCAT) is the official index to U.S. government publications. We have this index in print and online through the databases link under GPO Monthly Catalog - FirstSearch.
Washington State Government Information
The CWU Libraries has been a full depository for Washington State government publications since 1965, receiving all materials available through the Washington State Library. In addition, many older government publications have been acquired as gifts.
Washington State publications can be located using OneSearch. Call numbers for many of these resources begin with Wa, and the location is listed as documents.
Finding information in Washington State government databases
Access Washington is the official site for Washington State government information and provides links to agencies by name and/or subject.
Find-It! Washington provides searching options for government information, courtesy of the Washington State Library.
GODORT State Agency Databases is a subject list of online Washington State government resources.
Central Regional Branch guides users to the local government archival collection located in Ellensburg.
Law & legislation websites
Revised Code of Washington (RCW) provides the current edition of the laws of Washington State.
Washington Administrative Code (WAC) provides current Washington State agency regulations.
SEARCH RCW, WAC, Register and/or Current Bills allows searching of all databases at once from 1985/86 - present.
Washington State Courts provides full text of recent decisions from Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
Washington State Legislature includes bills and other current legislative materials, calendars, and directories.
Governor's Office links to budget and policy, boards and commissions, executive orders, etc
- Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
- State Report Card
- Teacher Certification and Renewal
- Washington Student Achievement Council includes degree-granting colleges and universities legally operating in Washington.
Climate Change - Department of Ecology. Washington faces serious impacts to its snowpack, infrastructure, and water supplies as the climate changes and temperatures climb. Protecting our state's fish, farms, and communities from the impacts of climate change is a priority for Ecology.
Personnel Detail Report includes salaries for Washington State employees and is the Office of Financial Management website.
Traffic and Travel Conditions from the Washington State DOT links to traffic cameras, road construction, weather, public transit, air and rail travel, ferries, bicycling, trucking, tourism, and parks.
Voting and Elections Information shows current Washington State election information from the Secretary of State.
Washington State University Cooperative Extension provides access to ordering information and some full text sites for gardening and agricultural publications.
Local Government Information
City of Ellensburg
- Animal Shelter, adoptable pets
- City of Ellensburg
- Driving Mileage Guide from Ellensburg (DOT)
- Ellensburg City Code
- Ellensburg School District
- Newspaper, Daily Record
- Weather Forecast (National Weather Service)
- Assessor's Office, property search
- Census of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Courts Directory
- Kittitas County Government
- Kittitas County Code
- Inmate Roster (Kittitas County Jail)
- Labor Market - Local Area Profile (by County)
- Sheriff's Office
- Voter & Election Information (Auditor's Office)
Central Washington State
- Central Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives
Washington State Department of Health & Social Services, Ellensburg Branch CSO #19
The CWU Libraries maps collection contains approximately 90,000 sheet maps available to be checked out. Atlases and other materials covering a variety of geographic areas and topics are also available. The Maps, Atlases, and Cartographic Resources research guide provides help finding and using maps.
Locating geographic features and named places
GEOnet Names Server is an international place and feature names locator from the Board on Geographic Names.
Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) - is a U.S. place and feature names locator from the U.S. Geological Survey.
U.S. government agencies involved with mapping
Census Bureau (U.S. Department of Commerce) is the most prolific creator of statistics and maps in the country. Find Congressional district maps, gazetteers, official place names for the U.S. and much more.
Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. Department of the Interior) creates a great deal of maps for the National Wildlife Refuge program and for the countless reports they publish on animal life in this country.
Forest Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture) publishes all those nifty maps available at national forests around the country. They also update their own topographic maps for quadrangles located within national forest boundaries.
Geological Survey (U.S. Department of the Interior) oversees research and work pertaining to the geology of the country. They publish a myriad of maps including topographic, thematic, geological, climactic, and biological, just to name a few. With maps going back to 1800, this agency produces a lot of material in print and digitally.
National Agricultural Statistics Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture) are the publishers of Agricultural Statistics and the Census of Agriculture. The Census of Agriculture goes as far back as 1840.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (U.S. Department of Commerce) oversees functions having to do with the climate and weather like the National Weather Service. NOAA's Central Library has current and historical daily weather maps going as far back as 1871. The Office of Coast Survey has a collection of historical maps and charts going as far back as the 1700s.
National Park Service (U.S. Department of the Interior) creates the very wonderful maps that you pick up when you visit a national park.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (U.S .Department of Agriculture) provides government resources to farmers and agricultural workers.
Geography & Map Reading Room at the Library of Congress has the largest collection of maps & cartographic materials in the world.
Map Collection from the Library of Congress' American Memory website.
National Map - You will find all sorts of maps for the United States in all sorts of formats and interests.
Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection is an electronic collection of maps gathered by the University of Texas. Includes over 300 maps of the United States, historical maps, and city maps.
USGS EarthExplorer provides access to all types of maps online.
Microforms are materials which have been photographed and reprinted in a miniaturized format. CWU Libraries’ collection includes a variety of materials, such as newspapers, periodicals, rare and out-of-print books, government publications, dissertations, special collections, and college catalogs—in three microformats:
- Microfiche (MH location) are rectangular transparent film cards, filed in drawers. U.S. government publications have "SuDocs" numbers and the rest of the collection is arranged using accession numbers.
- Microfilm (MM location) are reels of transparent film placed in boxes and filed in drawers. Each title has a number.
- Microprint / Microcard (MP location) are white cards with miniature black print, filed in boxes on shelves. Each set has a number.
Many of the sets have their own index and vary according to the type of material. The Microforms research guide provides help finding and using microforms.
OneSearch contains records for many of the microform sets. Searches can be performed using keywords, subject, author, or title. The record for the set will provide the location number and format for our collection. OneSearch records describe the entire set, without any entries for the individual publications or titles contained within the set.
Printed indexes for most of the microform sets are available in the microforms room on the third floor. The indexes are also arranged in numeric order, using the same number that was given to the microform set. A card file contains detailed descriptions and provides access by subject for selected sets.
Newspapers and periodicals
OneSearch contains records for newspapers and periodicals. Records indicate issues received, format, and call number for newspaper and periodical.
Indexes and abstracts, available in the Academic & Research Commons on the first floor of Brooks Library, and online databases are used to locate articles within the newspapers and magazines.
Government publications on microfiche
OneSearch and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) are databases that contain records for government publications in all forms and formats, including microforms. The complete record is used to determine where each document title will be found. All documents are filed or shelved according to the "SuDocs" classification system, which puts materials in order by the publishing agency. (Government publications are filed at the beginning of the microfiche collection.)
Historical documents, primarily congressional materials, have been purchased as sets, with a separate index for each collection.
Selected microform collections by subject
Indexes to the following collections are available at the government publications & current periodicals service desk on the third floor of Brooks Library.
- Microbook Library of English Literature (Microfiche MH-4) provides the text of English literary works from their beginnings (Beowulf) to the early 20th century.
- Library of English Literature (Microfiche MH-4) contains early English literary works, from the beginning to the early 20th century.
- United Nations Document (Microprint MP-144, 1946-1982 and Microfiche MH-144, 1982-1992) is a collection of UN documents and official records.
- History of the Pacific Northwest (Microfilm MM-641) contains materials relative to the settling of the Pacific Northwest.
- Library of American Civilization (Microfiche MH-351) is a large collection of historically significant publications published from the "beginning" until the outbreak of World War II.
- Western Americana (Microfiche MH-318) is a microfiche collection of books and documents from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.
The libraries collects microfilm reels with editions of many newspapers, including:
- Ellensburg Daily Record (MM-258)
- Seattle Times (MM 3)
- Washington Post (MM 701)
- Wenatchee World (MM-709)
- Yakima Herald (MM-6)
Indexes for newspapers are available at the government publications & current periodicals service desk on the third floor of Brooks Library.
Current newspapers are available in print on the third floor in print. Electronic access to newspapers is available through the libraries’ online databases.
Collections of personal papers from individuals and organizations including:
- Jane Addams Papers (MM 908)
- The Papers of Andrew Jackson (MM 1013)
- Indian Rights Association Papers, 1864-1973 (MM 392)
- National Woman's Party Papers, 1913-1974 (MM 845-846)
Indexes are available at the government publications & current periodicals service desk on the third floor of Brooks Library.