Government documents in print

Posted: Thu, Feb 8th 2024

If you walk by Level 1 this spring and summer, you may notice some activity in our print government documents collection.  Working with the Boston Public Library, New England’s regional depository library, we are transitioning to a digital-only collection and will be responsibly recycling the majority of the print government documents collection.   With increased access to publications digitally, the print collection has been underused for several years. 

Digital access 

We continue to receive online publications from the U.S. government.  Records with links to the publications can be found in JumboSearch using the Resource Type filter of “government documents.”   

Additionally, almost a million of U.S. federal government publications have been contributed to the Hathi Trust Digital Library and are available to search or browse as a collection. 

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) 

By law, a regional depository library provides public access to every item published by the U.S. government since the creation of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in 1859.  Tufts joined the FDLP in 1899 as a Selective Depository, accepting documents on deposit from select government agencies.  The Boston Public Library is our Regional Depository, providing access to all government publications. 

Tufts is remaining in the FDLP as we continue to subscribe to online documents published by several agencies.  As such, Tisch Library remains open to the public who may use computers to view government information (information for Visitors). 

Print access 

For those needing access to the print originals, the Boston Public Library provides free, perpetual access to a comprehensive collection dating to before the advent of the FDLP program. Information on how to visit the BPL’s collection is available on the BPL’s Government Information research guide. 

More info 

For questions or concerns, please contact Martha Kelehan, Assistant Director, Research & Learning at or reach out to your department’s library liaison. 

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