Pentagon Library

Nestled within one of the largest office buildings in the world, the Pentagon Library is a Federal library that serves as the "headquarters library and primary information provider for the personnel working in the Pentagon and North Capitol Region of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).” The Pentagon Library is also a Federal depository library and serves researchers interested in topics related to the library’s specialized collections.


The Library's roots go all the way back to 1800, when the War Department Library was established. On February 16, 1944, the Secretary of War issued a memorandum setting up the Pentagon Library to serve those working in the new office building. Twenty-eight separate DoD libraries in operation then were all consolidated within the massive new Pentagon building. A smaller, renovated library is currently part of the Pentagon Library and Conference Center, which opened in October 2006. Along with a satellite library in northern Virginia, the Pentagon Library has several computer workstations and open books stacks, accessible for onsite use by those with Pentagon identification.

Included in the collections, in all formats, are core U.S. Government publications acquired since 1969 through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Pentagon staffers often use core legislative and regulatory Government publications as well as resources such as the Public Papers of the Presidents and Foreign Relations of the United States. Legislative histories of laws related to the military and military official histories are also popular.

Serving the Public

The library's reference librarians answer many interesting questions from researchers outside the Pentagon, such as historians and attorneys. You may see some of these questions and answers within their Ask A Librarian knowledge base. In order to serve the public need, the Pentagon Library provides a publicly-accessible catalog, where all of its collections may be identified. Notably, the Federal Depository Coordinator regularly scans records from the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications New Electronic Titles and adds relevant records about foreign relations publications, technical reports, Congressional Committee publications, and other publications related to national defense and the military to the Pentagon Library’s catalog. In addition, library staff also offer multiple publicly-accessible research guides, including Government Documents, to help patrons identify pertinent materials.

Popular Research Materials

The library advertises its collections of unique materials in its research guides, providing a service which enhances access to these specialized materials. Selected popular resources include:

The guide describes the library’s collection of over 250,000 military documents. Army Regulations and DoD issuances, both current and superseded, have been digitized and linked to records in the catalog, and other military documents are digitized upon request.

Included are DoD Defense appropriations laws, DoD national defense authorization laws, and military construction laws. Public law numbers, House and Senate report numbers, and bill numbers are available, and resources available within GPO's Federal Digital System are linked. Additional bound legislative histories prepared by library and other Pentagon staff are available to supplement online materials when needed for reference.


The Pentagon Library is clearly identifiable as a Federal depository library on its Web pages, and library staff members participate in regional FDLP information sharing and training opportunities. This collaboration contributes to the FDLP network.

For its service and continuing commitment to the FDLP and for its staff expertise and services which enhance access, the U.S. Government Printing Office appreciates and recognizes the Pentagon Library as the May/June 2013 Depository Library in the Spotlight.

Depository Library Spotlight

Read about previous libraries that were highlighted in the Depository Library Spotlight.

FDLP Connection Archive

We have sunsetted the FDLP Connection with the July / August 2018 issue and will not be publishing the Connection anymore. We’ve enjoyed bringing the FDLP Connection to the community over the years! You can still view past issues. View full archive (2011-2018).