125 Years of Discovery: The Federal Depository Library Program at Cal

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Welcome to the website for 125 Years of Discovery: The Federal Depository Library Program at Cal!

This year (2009) marks the 125th anniversary of the UC Berkeley Library’s official designation as a Federal Depository Library. The Federal Depository Library Program allows the UC Berkeley Library to receive official U.S. government publications for free with the understanding that the Library make the publications available to anyone who wants to access them. Currently there are over 1200 federal depository libraries around the country, including many academic and public libraries.

Designated in 1884, Berkeley is the second oldest federal depository library in California. Libraries haphazardly received government documents in the early 1800's. In 1860, the U.S. Government formalized the program with the founding of the Government Printing Office and it is GPO that continues to provide libraries across the country with official publications. Many documents from the past are only available in microfiche and paper, though contemporary documents can also be found on agency websites. As publication formats have changed, so has the GPO, and it is continuing its move into the digital age with the first phase of the Federal Digital System (FDSys). More information on this can be found in the "What is the FDLP?" section of this website.

This exhibit celebrates our depository designation by highlighting some of the important, historic and strange documents UCB has received over the last 125 years. U.S. Government documents are authoritative, primary source, historic materials that are perfect for academic research at all levels.

We invite you to explore this exhibit and its online component and discover some of the materials made available through the Federal Depository Library Program.

Curator: Jesse Silva, Librarian for Federal Documents, Political Science, Public Policy and Legal Studies

Assistant Curator: Glenn Gillespie, Reference/Government Information Specialist


This exhibit would not have happened without the help of several people: Associate University Librarian Elizabeth Dupuis, the Government Documents Unit in Doe/Moffitt: Jim Church, Harrison Dekker, Tim Dennis, Susana Hinojosa. We would also like to thank Emily Ramos, Peter Soriano, Willyce Kim, Sheehan Grant and Phoebe Janes, Dan Johnston, Todd Parks.  The following people also provided assistance: Gisele Binder, Gary Handman, David Farrell, Kathryn Neal and James Eason. Also thanks to Marcy Perman, Diane Smith, and Andrea Sevetson from LexisNexis.  A special thanks to Brooke Dykman for creating the exhibit's website and Aisha Hamilton for her expertise in creating the amazing graphics and exhibit setup. Another special thanks to Myriah Williams and Kate Feng for scanning several documents into pdf for the exhibit website, and to Jacqueline Fong for helping to organize and install the exhibit.


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