Government Documents - Library Services

Library Services

West Chester University

25 West Rosedale Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-430-4400
Fax: 610-738-0554
Ask Us

Government Documents

Department Information:

Location: F. H. Green Library, 2nd (Main) floor
Awilda Reyes, Government Documents & Maps Librarian, 610-436-3206 or
Michelle Donlin, Temporary Government Docments & Maps Librarian, 610-436-2381 or
Regina Braidotti, Government Documents & Maps Technican, 610-436-2869 or

See our Government Documents online guide for more information about our resources.


Federal  Depository Library Program logoIn 1967, the FHG Library joined the Federal Depository Library Program and became a selective depository for United States federal and Pennsylvania state government publications.  The Library selects the documents it receives on the principle that its collection should support the West Chester University curriculum.  The Government Documents and Maps Department is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, bibliographic control, and retrieval of all federal and state government publications and maps, in both paper and electronic formats.  A limited collection of Chester County print documents is also accessible to patrons.  All of these print documents are shelved in the Government Documents area on the 2nd floor of the Library.

In addition, the Department maintains a collection of flat and folded maps, atlases, and map reference materials in the Mather Cartographic Resource Center room, also on the 2nd floor of the Library.  Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software and Google Earth are available on all library computers.


Municipal government and international publications are not under the purview of the Government Documents and Maps Department. These materials are cataloged and shelved within the Library's general collection.


Since 1996, all new US federal government documents (both print and online formats) have been cataloged and are searchable through the Library’s online catalog (PILOT) – retrospective cataloging on the print documents received prior to 1996 is ongoing, and older documents not yet cataloged are accessible through browsing the shelves.  Patrons may access online federal government publications through the Library’s databases, free government websites, and print indexes.   Pennsylvania state government documents received since 1992 are searchable through PILOT – retrospective cataloging of the documents received prior to 1992 is ongoing.  All of the Chester County collection is cataloged and searchable through PILOT.


Print items in the US Federal and Pennsylvania Documents collections circulate in accordance with the Library's general collection circulation policies.  Maps, atlases, and material in the Documents Reference, Maps Reference, and Chester County collections, do not circulate.

Classification Systems

The Government Documents and Maps Department uses four different classification systems when cataloging its material. United States federal government documents are classified and shelved according to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) classification system, an alphanumeric notational system developed specifically for federal government publications and used in depository libraries nationwide.  Pennsylvania state documents are classified and shelved according to the Pennsylvania Document classification system, an alphanumerical notational system based on the structure of SuDocs classification. All maps are classified and stored according to the Library of Congress classification system.  All atlases and Maps Reference material are classified and shelved according to the Dewey Decimal classification system.

For assistance with using the Government Documents collection, contact the Temporary Government Documents and Maps Librarian, Michelle Donlin, 610-436-2381 or

Reference Services and Instruction

Reference service is provided in the department during daytime library hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Evening and weekend help is provided through the Reference Desk and / or special arrangements with the Government Documents Librarian.  Library class sessions and one-on-one personalized reference sessions are also available upon request.

Page updated 29-Oct-2015