Harold Washington Library Center
The Government Publications Department provides access to official publications from the governments of the United States and the State of Illinois. The Municipal Reference Collection provides access to the publications of the City of Chicago and Cook County. The extensive collection includes documents in various formats: electronic, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, maps, charts, kits, microfilm, microfiche and print.
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Government Publications Phone: (312) 747-4500
Municipal Reference Collection Phone: (312) 747-4526
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Librarians are available to answer questions and assist with beginning and advanced research, including retrieving items from closed stacks.
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Chicago Public 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)
As a U.S. depository since 1876, the Chicago Public Library offers about 98 percent of the publications available to libraries through the U.S. Government Printing Office’s depository library program. This includes publications from federal departments and agencies such as the Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, National Weather Service, Department of Defense (including military histories), NASA, Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Internal Revenue Service.
Specialized indexes, both print and online, are used to locate older materials. These include:
- Cumulative Title Index to U.S. Public Documents, 1789-1976; Cumulative Subject Index, 1900-1971; Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, 1885-2004
- Government Printing Office Monthly Catalog (1976 to present)
- U.S. Executive Branch Documents Index 1789-1909 and 1910-1932
- United States Serial Set Index: American State Papers to the 91st Congress, 1789-1969 and U.S. Serial Set Carto-bibliography of Maps, 1789-1969
- American Statistics Index (ASI); Index to International Statistics (IIS); ProQuest Statistical Insight
- Congressional Information Service (CIS) indexes; Major Studies and Issue Briefs of the Congressional Research Service; ProQuest Congressional
State of Illinois
The Chicago Public Library became an Illinois depository with the inception of the state depository program in 1968. Collection of materials, however, began much earlier, with some material dating back to the early 1800s. Historical and legislative materials are available in publications of the Illinois General Assembly, the Secretary of State and other state agencies, institutions and boards. Recent Illinois documents are available online through Electronic Documents of Illinois.
Cook County and City of Chicago
The Municipal Reference Collection is a comprehensive collection of documents from the City of Chicago, the Chicago Housing Authority and the other taxing bodies in Chicago. Additional materials include an extensive local newspaper clipping file, 1956-2011, and public policy papers. The staff produces a variety of reference materials and finding aids about Chicago.
The Library has an extensive collection of congressional reports, documents, hearings and committee prints dating from the 1790s. Most items are available in microform and paper. Recent congressional information is available electronically through THOMAS, FDsys, ProQuest Congressional and the Library’s online catalog.
Source: Government Printing Office
- Presidential Executive Orders and Proclamations, Washington to Reagan
- Public Papers of the President
- Economic Report of the President
- Budget of the United States Government
Many U.S. agencies issue statistical publications. Depending on the agency, these are available for various time periods. All U.S. statistical publications indexed in the American Statistics Index (1973-) are available via electronic database, microfiche and/or paper format. The Library maintains a large collection of historical census materials. Current census data is available online via American Factfinder.
Some foreign statistics are available on the microfiche received with the Index to International Statistics (1983-). Some Illinois state agencies also issue statistical reports.
Statutes, Public Laws, Treaties and Decisions
- U.S. Code, United States Code Service, Statutes at Large
- Code of Federal Regulations, Federal Register
- Administrative decisions of U.S. agencies
- U.S. Reports, Digest of United States Supreme Court Reports
- Treaties and Other International Agreements, Current Treaty Index and Treaties in Force
- Illinois Compiled Statutes, Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated and Illinois Register
The Library maintains an extensive collection of historical U.S. topographic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey. Current topographic maps are available online via US Topo. Government Publications also receives other maps, charts and atlases.