Government Documents

Federal Depository Library System and Government Documents

U.S. federal depository for government documents

The WMU-Cooley Law School's Brennan Law Library, Lansing campus, is a selective federal depository library for U.S. Government Documents.  Public access to government documents is guaranteed by public law (Title 44 of the U.S.C.).  Government documents available via the web can be accessed at any of our campus locations.  

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GPO Access

The Government Printing Office (GPO) distributes official government information through The Federal Digital System (FDsys). This free website provides access to official authenticated government materiasl such as:  The Code of Federal Regulations, Presidential Documents, The United States Code, The Federal Register, and The Congressional Record.  View a complete list of electronic resources available through the GPO. 

The two primary methods of locating government documents are via indexes/catalogs and specialized Internet search engines.


  • The GPO provides a catalog of government publications. Many of the records appearing in this catalog have links to full text material available on the web.
  • If you are looking for government documents published before 1976 please contact one of the depository libraries in the state.

Search Engines

  • is a guide to government information that can be searched by topic or agency. 
  • When a government agency issues a report you can begin your search by going directly to the agency's page. Search for agency pages.


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Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School is an independent, private, non-profit educational institution affiliated with Western Michigan University. The affiliation between WMU and WMU-Cooley, which are legally and financially independent institutions, will end on or before November 5, 2023. As an independent institution, the Law School is solely responsible for its academic program. Accredited by the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission. 

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