Federal Government Documents Tutorial Home

1. The Universe of Federal Government Information

2. Depository Libraries

3. SuDoc numbers

4. Federal Document Shelflist

5. The NCSU Libraries on-line catalog

6. Monthly Catalog

7. Monthly Catalog cumulative indexes

8. 1909 Checklist

9. CIS

10. Other Congressional Sources

11. Specialized Indexes

12. Patents and Trademarks

13. Periodical Indexes

14. Web sites

Guide to Government Information

Federal Government Documents Tutorial


Just as commercial firms have used electronic bibliographic data from GPO to produce products sold to libraries, another company, CIS - Congressional Information Service - found a market in libraries for government information products.  CIS compiles very good bibliographies of government document titles, and sells these bibliographies in paper and electronic form.  In addition to the bibliographies, CIS also produces microfiche of government information titles and sells copies of document microfiche in sets or on demand.

All the CIS paper products are used in the same manner.  There is a two-step search process using index volumes and bibliographic volumes.

Step 1.
Look up a name or subject of interest in the index.  Citations given in the index are to a sequence number used in the bibliographic volume.

Step 2.
Look up the sequence number in the bibliographic citation volume.  The information given in the bibliographic volume frequently includes a SuDoc number, and the publication could be on our shelves at that SuDoc number.  If the title is not in our depository collection, it may be available in the Microforms Room.  Use the sequence number from the index plus the date and title of the index when asking for the material at the Microforms desk.  In case of doubt, ask for help locating the title at the Reference desk.

Executive Branch Publications

Although this wasn't the first product produced by CIS, it was an extremely ambitious one.  Over a period of years the company tracked down copies of all the publications recorded in the 1909 Checklist.  CIS produced a multi-part bibliography of these documents, and finally created the index promised by GPO ninety five years ago.  The CIS title is this:

CIS U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1789 - 1909 in 6 parts plus a supplement

  • part 1: Treasury, Commerce, and Labor
  • part 2: War
  • part 3: Interior, Justice, Labor, ICC, Library of Congress
  • part 4: Agriculture, etc.
  • part 5: Navy
  • part 6: State, Post Office, President, Smithsonian, etc.
  • supp: discovered titles not in the 1909 Checklist

All of the CIS index titles discussed here are in the D.H. Hill Library, and most are shelved in the Reference - U.S. Docs area in the second floor, north bookstacks overlooking Hillsborough Street.

Most of the titles in the 1909 Checklist are too old to be represented in this library's depository collection, so the Libraries purchased the microfiche cooperatively with Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. Each library houses the fiche from two parts of the bibliographies:  Parts 1-2 are in Duke's Perkins Library, Parts 3-4 are in the Microforms Room here in D.H. Hill, and Parts 5-6 are at UNC's Davis Library.  The purchase status of the supplementary segment isn't known at this time.  If you wish to use titles that are housed at Duke or Carolina, please ask the Interlibrary Loan staff to arrange a loan.

CIS U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1910 - 1932 in 7 parts

  • part 1: Smithsonian, Treasury, VA, etc.
  • part 2: Commerce
  • part 3: War, etc.
  • part 4: Interior, Justice, Labor etc.
  • part 5: Agriculture
  • part 6: LC, Navy, etc.
  • part 7: President, State, etc.

Between 1996 and 2003 CIS compiled a second retrospective bibliography and produced microfiche of Executive branch documents from the period, 1910 - 1932.  This microfiche was also purchased cooperatively with Duke and UNC: Parts 1-3 are in Duke's Perkins Library, Parts 4 and 5 are in the Microforms Room here in D.H. Hill, and Parts 6 and 7 are at UNC's Davis Library. Again, if you wish to use titles that are housed at Duke or Carolina, please ask the Interlibrary Loan staff to arrange a loan.

Legislative Branch Publications

CIS/Index to Publications of the United States Congress, 1970 to date

CIS' first publication established its reputation.  The CIS Index of Congressional publications indexes publications produced by House, Senate, and joint committees and subcommittees.  Included in its coverage are committee hearings and prints, reports, documents, and special publications.

From 1984 the printed CIS Index has included an annual "Legislative Histories" volume tracking the progress of significant legislation from introduction to enactment.

The federal documents collection contains almost all of the titles listed in the CIS Index, either in paper, microfiche, or via electronic Internet access.  The Congressional publications in the library are arranged by the SuDoc system, so use the Libraries' catalog or the federal documents shelflist to determine whether a particular title is available, and its format.

LexisNexis Congressional

LexisNexis purchased the CIS company, and has placed several different databases with the bibliographic data from a number of CIS publications on the Internet.  The CIS Index may be searched in LexisNexis Congressional.

CIS U.S. Congressional Committee Hearings Index, 1833-1969
CIS Index to Unpublished U.S. Senate Committee Hearings, 1823-1972
CIS Index to Unpublished U.S. House of Representatives Committee Hearings, 1833-1964
CIS U.S. Congressional Committee Prints Index, 1830-1969

These four titles from CIS represent other collections available from that company.  They either extend the coverage historically, or they capture bibliographically titles that have previously not been known.  The Reference - U.S. Docs area on the second floor, north bookstacks, houses each of these bibliographies.  The library's Microforms room contains many of the titles enumerated in these sets.

Statistical indexes

American Statistics Index, 1974 to date

Since 1974 the CIS product, American Statistics Index, has provided an index to statistical publications produced by any U.S. federal government department or agency.  The D. H. Hill Library's Microforms Room has a set of microfiche from the non-depository portion of the publications indexed by the ASI index.  In conjunction with the publications received through the federal depository program, the library's holdings of the titles indexed by ASI should be complete.

Statistical Reference Index, 1980 to date

Building on the success of the ASI, CIS began this second statistical bibliography with a U.S. focus, one that covers statistical publications released by state, trade, and academic publishers.  The Microforms room contains SRI microfiche.

IIS Index to International Statistics, 1983 to date

CIS also compiles this third statistical bibliography, the IIS, which concentrates on statistical publications issued by multi-national organizations like the United Nations, World Bank, etc.  The Microforms room also holds IIS microfiche.

Ask for microfiche from these sets by requesting their sequence numbers, made up of three parts:  the year, the three letter abbreviation for the bibliography, and a unique sequence number.  These sequence numbers are assigned to a specific title and remain constant from one year to the next.

LexisNexis Statistical

LexisNexis Statistical allows searches of data contained in the ASI, SRI, and IIS indexes.  It also has a feature allowing users to obtain summary statistical data contained in tables from a variety of sources.

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