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

1909 Checklist

The 1909 Checklist, or the Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909, is a wonderful example of early 20th century bibliographic scholarship.  It's exhaustive in detail.  Its introduction describes its purpose to

"record the first systematic effort to include within the limits of one publication an approximately complete checklist of all public documents issued by the United States Government during the first century and a quarter of its history.  It claims to be only a checklist, not a catalogue; but it aims to be as complete and accurate a checklist as human energy and enthusiasm could evolve for publication within the narrow confines of a single reference work, which must be in a form both usable and concise."
1909 Checklist

Entries from 1909 Checklist

Volume 1 of the 1909 Checklist, "Lists of Congressional and Departmental Publications," contains references to all the publications known to GPO through 1909.  The first portion of the volume records Congressional publications, and the latter nine-tenths of the bibliography lists departmental publications in SuDoc order.

There is evidence that a Volume 2 was planned; indeed, it is so stated:  "An index will be issued as volume 2 of the Checklist."  Unfortunately, the government never did complete an index to this monumental work.  But the 1909 Checklist stands alone as a work of scholarship, and it has recently provided the private sector with a business opportunity.


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