The Houston Lyceum Library was designated a depository library for the First Congressional District of Texas by Congressman Charles Stewart in March of 1884. What was begun with the Lyceum has been carried forward with the Houston Public Library. As the oldest and largest depository in the Houston area, the library maintains a reference collection of over 900,000 documents from nearly every government agency. Citizens of Houston have benefited greatly over the 125 year period by having free access to information generated by the federal government.
The Houston Public Library is a selective depository library for U.S. government document publications. The Library has been a depository since 1884 and has the oldest and largest collection of government publications in the Houston area.
The collection currently is comprised of over 800,000 documents from virtually every agency of the federal government. Documents come in many formats including books, pamphlets, periodicals, CDs, and maps.
Basic access to this collection is through the Houston Public Library catalog. Materials dating from 1976 to the present appear in the catalog. Many older documents have not been cataloged, but are definitely findable. Check with a librarian for assistance in finding older materials.
The Government Documents collection is a closed-stack, non-circulating collection. Materials must be retrieved by staff members for use in the library.
An extensive amount of government information is also available via the internet. The following links are helpful finding tools for this information:
- Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) - The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) is the finding tool for electronic and print publications from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government. These publications make up the National Bibliography of U.S. Government Publications. The CGP contains descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online.
- Fedstats -- Easy access to the full range of statistics and information produced by more than 70 federal agencies.
- FedWorld Information Network -- National Technical Information Service access point for locating and ordering federal government information.
- GODORT -- Frequently used sites selected by the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association, via Vanderbilt University.
- GPO-FDsys (Federal Digital System) -- FDsys provides free online access to official Federal Government Publications.
- HANDI -- Information on Houston-area depository libraries.
- Thomas -- Legislative information on the Internet.
- USA.Gov -- The U.S. Government's official web portal.
- White House -- Official site of the White House, includes virtual library of documents, speeches, press releases, and latest news and statistics.