FDLP

Classification Guidelines for Digital Reproductions

With the increasing availability of digital reproductions of older U.S. Government publications, Library Technical Services (LTS) has developed new procedures for assigning Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification numbers and depository item numbers to these publications as they are being added to the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP). Many of these digital reproductions represent publications that were never previously distributed through the FDLP. Others represent legacy publications that were distributed in a tangible format, i.e. print and/or microfiche.

Library Technical Services (LTS) assigns SuDoc classification numbers and depository item numbers to all publications disseminated through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Publications within scope of the Cataloging and Indexing Program (C&I) but not the FDLP receive a SuDoc class number and no depository item number. The Superintendent of Documents Classification numbering system was developed between 1895 and 1903 and groups publications together based on the publishing agency. Depository item numbers, which were developed after 1923, are used by Federal depository libraries to select the publications they wish to receive at their library. However, depository item numbers did not appear in the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications until the early 1940s.

LTS staff will conduct research to determine if the publication is a fugitive (not previously identified for the FDLP or C&I ) or if it has previously been distributed in a tangible format to libraries in the FDLP. If the publication has been distributed in a tangible format, additional research will be conducted to determine the exact SuDoc class and depository item number, if any, assigned to the tangible version. If required, a SuDoc class number may be assigned to a fugitive.  

Type of Publication Status SuDoc Number Item Number MARC 500 Note
Digital reproduction of a previously distributed publication SuDoc and item number are still active Same as tangible version Same as tangible version  
SuDoc and item number are inactive Same as tangible version Same as tangible version  
SuDoc number but no item number; Distributed prior to 1940 and no item number assigned at time of distribution Same as tangible version No item number is included in the bibliographic record. 'Distributed to Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) libraries prior to 1940. No FDLP  item number available.'
Digital reproduction of a fugitive publication Falls under active SuDoc stem and item number Active SuDoc stem used and appropriate suffix assigned Item number of SuDoc stem included in the bibliographic record.  
Falls under inactive SuDoc stem and item number Inactive SuDoc stem used and appropriate suffix assigned Item number of SuDoc stem included in the bibliographic record.  
Falls under inactive SuDoc stem but predates item number Inactive SuDoc stem used and appropriate suffix assigned No item number is included in the bibliographic record. "Publication pre-dates Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) item numbers. No FDLP item number has been assigned."
Fugitive does not fall under existing SuDoc stem New SuDoc stem created and appropriate suffix assigned No item number is created if the agency is no longer active If no item number assigned, note should read: "Agency is no longer active. No Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) item number has been assigned."
  Item number created if agency is still active