Collection Development for Government Documents

The University of Delaware Library is a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and, as such, collects selected United States federal publications that support the information needs of residents of the State of Delaware and the University community. Established by an act of Congress (44 U.S.C. §§ 1901-1916), the FDLP ensures public access to information published by the Federal Government. The University of Delaware has been a Federal Depository Library since 1897. The University of Maryland College Park serves as Delaware’s Regional Depository Library and provides access to publications not available in the UD collection. Depository collections should support the University of Delaware’s mission statement.

The University of Delaware favors electronic access to government information over other material options. Electronic access to government information can be found via an online websites (i.e., FDLP Catalog, or other GovInfo); through subscribed library databases (i.e. HeinOnline, ProQuest Congressional, and Readex Serial Set); and via the Library’s catalog, DELCAT Discovery. Members of the public are welcome to come to the library and research the electronic material we have via one of our public computers on the first floor.

Congressional publications available in a variety of formats will be collected primarily in the electronic format unless they fall under the following conditions:

  • The publication was produced by a committee of a member of Delaware’s Congressional delegation;
  • The paper publication has circulated within the last eight years;
  • The paper publication has value as reference material; or
  • The paper publication supports the Library’s mission in some way, i.e. is about Delaware or involves Delawareans.

The paper format should be retained and collected for all documents that relate to activities, committees, and legislation from Delaware representatives. It is important as the largest research library in the state to collect publications related to state representatives. All physical collections, with the exception of the microfiche and tangible material, should be cataloged and immediately sent to the Library Annex or offsite storage location. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and request publications before they arrive via the Annex Request Form. If they arrive without requesting material ahead of time, items can be requested and delivered if forms are submitted before 2:00pm, otherwise material will be delivered the following day.

Microfiche is no longer a collected format, but collections and access to microfiche should be retained as long as the material is relevant. Maps are no longer actively collected, although they are retained in cabinets located on the lower level. Tangible electronic formats (CD-ROMS and optical discs) are retained, as long as equipment is available to play these formats. Microfiche and tangible material can be found on the lower level in the Microforms Reading Room and along the back wall (in microfiche filing cabinets) on the lower level. 

Any weeding of physical material (i.e. print, microfiche, or tangible electronic formats), will be made after the five year retention policy and will be checked against electronic access and with our regional library. 

Additional information about collections is available on the Library’s U.S. Government Information & Congressional Publications Research Guide.