GPO makes its cataloging records available to libraries in a number of ways. Most of these options are free of charge to libraries.
- GitHub Repositories
- Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP)
- Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)
- OCLC (membership required)
In addition, there are several other sources for obtaining GPO’s records.
- Documents Data Miner2 (DDM2)
- Commercial vendors
Please note - GPO has discontinued the GPO Cataloging Data Subscription Service.
In 2017, LSCM launched the CGP on GitHub repository to post monthly files of new and changed bibliographic records of the CGP for downloading free of charge. Please see the “Obtaining Files” section on this page for information on the steps to download records.
GPO’s Projects and Systems and Library Technical Services (LTS) units collaborate to maintain these files. LTS has expanded the repository to include 14 collections with a total of 220,826 records (as of February 2023). The collections are based on various criteria, such as issuing agencies, publication formats, and topical and chronological coverage, and include several types of resources, including MARC records, record display pages, and PDFs with links to online versions of publications.
Also, LTS and GPO’s Programs, Strategy, and Technology unit worked together to launch four additional repositories. LTS manages and develops the five repositories:
- CGP on GitHub
- All CGP Records (MARC UTF-8)
- All CGP Records (MARC XML)
- U.S. Congressional Serial Set Project (MARC UTF-8)
- U.S. Congressional Serial Set Project (MARC XML)
In December 2022, LTS undertook a thorough review of the repositories and the collections and completed a series of actions for a refresh:
- Linked each repository to the others to facilitate navigation of our GitHub resources.
- Updated the descriptions of the repositories and collections.
- Re-processed the records for each collection of the CGP on GitHub repository except for the CGP Records with Updated PURLs and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) collections.
- Added record display pages to most CGP on GitHub collections to provide direct access to the publications with online versions.
CGP Monthly Record Sets
Six monthly sets of new and updated catalog records are available in the three formats. The naming conventions of the files are as follows: “cataloging_records-YYYYMM_####_format.mrc”. The abbreviation YYYYMM stands for the year and month, and #### represents the number of bibliographic records in the record set. Format indicates if the character set is in UTF-8, MARC-8, or MARCXML format.
Each of the files includes the following categories of bibliographic records:
- Records created/updated by the LTS staff with valid OCLC numbers
- Records created/updated as part of the Historic Shelflist project
- Newly created/updated brief bibliographic records
When downloading files from the repository, all of the files in the repository are included in the downloaded zip file.
- On the main repository page, click on the “Code” button in the right-hand section of the page.
- Select “Download ZIP.”
- Click on “Download ZIP”.
- The browser may have the following prompt at the bottom:
- A ZIP file with all of the files on the repository will be downloaded to your computer.
- Click on “Save”.
- Unzip the file with WinZip or another zip utility, and get the file you need.
Please send us your feedback and questions about the repositories and collections by submitting an inquiry in the “Cataloging/Metadata (Policy and Records)” category via askGPO.
Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP)
Federal depository libraries are eligible to participate in the Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP). Since 2009, GPO has contracted with MARCIVE, Inc. to provide a monthly batch of bibliographic records to each participating library. The records may include those matching each participating library’s FDLP item number selection profile and GPO Historical Shelflist records. New libraries are typically added each October, the beginning of the fiscal year. Contact GPO to learn if there are vacancies or a wait list to join. The CRDP is available at no cost to the library.
The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)
From the CGP, you can send up to 20 catalog records per email at no cost. You may select from various email formats, including MARC tags, and various types of encodings. The processes for obtaining records from the CGP is described in the “Working with Results” section of the CGP help page.
The New Titles page of the CGP offers lists of various types and formats of records, such as electronic resources, serials, and integrated resources, compiled in the previous week, two weeks, month, and three months, from which you can make selections to email to yourself.
Z39.50 is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ National Information Standards Organization (NISO) communications protocol. It is used to search and retrieve bibliographic records in online databases of library holdings. It also allows you to download bibliographic records in MARC format and load into your library’s bibliographical database at no cost. There is a limit of 10,000 records per download.
GPO creates new bibliographic records and adapts existing records in OCLC, the global library cooperative. Your library must be a member of OCLC in order to export GPO records from this system into your local catalog.