Special Collecting Areas

Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library

The Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library of the University of Georgia consists of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Georgiana Collection, the University of Georgia Archives and Records Management. The Hargrett Library serves the University scholarly community, as well as scholars and researchers worldwide. Subject interests include Georgia, book arts, theater, music, history, literature, journalism, and genealogy. For more information about the Hargrett Library’s collections and collecting policies, see Collections of the Hargrett Library. The collection development policy for the University Archives is included below.

University Archives

The University Archives serves as the collective memory of the University of Georgia, from the granting of its charter on January 27, 1785, to the present day.  The Archives is the official repository for all of the university's permanent records and actively gathers administrative files, university publications, photographs, audiovisual materials, faculty papers, records of student organizations, and memorabilia that document all aspects of campus life. In addition to serving the University community, the Archives is open to the general public.

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, established in 1974 upon donation of the late senator’s collection, serves as a center for research and study of the modern American political system. With particular emphasis on the role of Georgia and the U. S. Congress, collection development and programming focus on the dynamic relationship of politics, policy, and culture—generated wherever public interest intersects with government. The breadth and depth of Russell Library’s more than 150 collections provide an interconnected framework of perspectives and experiences for understanding the increasingly diverse people, events, and ideas shaping Georgia’s political landscape. For more information about the Russell Library’s collections and collecting policies, see Collections at the Russell Library.

Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection

The mission of the Media Archives is to preserve and protect the materials that reflect the collective memory of broadcasting and the history of the state of Georgia and its people; to provide access to the collections through the creation and development of ongoing public programming and the maintenance of a viewing facility for researchers; so that we may serve the research, and study needs of the University of Georgia its faculty, students, and staff, as well as the campus community and the public at large. The UGA Media Archive's scope of service extends beyond the University of Georgia, providing reference assistance to researchers around the world, as well as participating in cooperative preservation projects with other moving image and sound archives. For more information about the Media Archives’ collections and collecting policies, see Media Archives Collections: An Overview.

Curriculum Materials Library

The primary focus of the Curriculum Materials Library collection is on materials for the College of Education's undergraduate programs, particularly those related to teacher training and preparation. Materials support Educational Field Experiences in the College of Education, the methods and practicum courses in the education curriculum, and children's and young adults’ literature courses. The collection includes juvenile and young adult literature, textbooks, supplementary teaching materials, curriculum guides, reference works, audio-visual materials, journals, and tests. For more information about the Curriculum Materials Library, see Curriculum Materials Library Collections.

Map & Government Information Library

The mission of the Map and Government Information Library is to provide bibliographic, physical, and intellectual access to cartographic and government information in all formats. The UGA Libraries serves as Georgia's regional depository for documents published by the federal government as well as the official depository for documents published by the State of Georgia. Its collections also include select international government documents and United Nations publications. Cartographic resources include maps, aerial photography and remote sensed imagery, atlases, city directories, digital spatial data, and reference materials, with a particular emphasis on the State of Georgia.  For further information about the Map and Government Information Library's collection development policies, see its Collection Development Policies page.

Government Documents

African Documents

African documents are no longer added by Government Documents staff. Previously collected annual reports of government departments and the gazettes of the legislatures of selected countries are available either in microform at the Main Library or at the Libraries’ Repository.

British Documents

The government publications of the United Kingdom are issued by the Stationery Office and are divided into two groups: non-Parliamentary (department or agency) and Parliamentary. The University of Georgia Libraries receive the Parliamentary publications in various formats which are housed in the Government Documents collection in the Main Library. Those Parliamentary documents include: the House of Lords and House of Commons papers; bills; command papers; debates (Hansard); acts; votes; proceedings; and some statistical publications. The majority of the British documents in the Libraries are non-Parliamentary and are purchased by bibliographers and classified in LC.

Canadian Documents

The University of Georgia Libraries are a selective depository for publications issued by the federal government of Canada through the Depository Services Program. Documents deemed to be of research interest are selected. Canadian publications not available through the Depository Services Program are added to the collection if they are free and of research interest. Documents of Canadian provinces are not included in the Canadian documents collection. Canadian documents are housed in the Main Library, Science Library, and Libraries’ Repository.

French Documents

French documents are not currently collected as part of the Government Documents collection though they may be added to the Libraries’ collections at the discretion of bibliographers and classified in LC. The official gazettes and some legislative publications of the French government previously received are generally housed at the Libraries’ Repository, except for microforms housed in the Main Library.

State of Georgia Documents

While the University of Georgia Libraries have been collecting Georgia documents for many years, we were designated the official depository for Georgia government publications in 1993. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated 20-5-2 mandates agencies and departments within the executive branch of the Georgia state government deposit in the University of Georgia Libraries five print copies and one electronic copy of publications that are produced with the intent to distribute to the public. The Governor and all other officers who are required to make reports to the General Assembly are also required to submit copies.

The five print copies are distributed to the Georgia Documents Collection at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia at the University of Georgia Libraries for digitization in the Georgia Government Publications database, Odum Library at Valdosta State University, Zach S. Henderson Library at Georgia Southern University, and the Georgia Archives. After digitization the Digital Library of Georgia copy is sent to the Library of Congress.

In addition to print and electronic copies, agencies are required to submit publications produced in any of the following formats: CD-ROM, DVD, DVD-ROM, maps, posters, videorecordings, etc. Forms and internal agency publications are not included as required submissions. Although OCGA 20-5-2 specifies that reports of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, the journals of the House and Senate, and the session laws enacted by the General Assembly are not required for deposit, the UGA Libraries receives copies of these publications as part of the Georgia Documents Collection.

Publications by individual units of the University System of Georgia are not considered state documents in this collection. However, the Board of Regents is a state agency, and as such its publications are part of the Georgia Documents Collection. Although some publications of the Regional Development Centers are included in the Georgia Documents Collection, their legal counsel advised that these are not considered state agencies because the RDCs do not receive the state funding that state agencies receive; therefore, they are not required to comply.

The Georgia Government Publications database, a project of the Digital Library of Georgia, GALILEO, and the University of Georgia Libraries, provides online public access to the full text of public documents of departments and agencies within the Georgia state government published from 1994 to the present.

Print documents, including all folio copies and those of a scientific and technical nature, published by the State of Georgia from 1876 to date are located in the Georgia Documents Collection in the Main Library. Microform, CD-ROM, DVD, maps, etc. are housed together with U.S. and other government documents in the Main Library. Documents published prior to 1876 are located in the Hargrett Library's Georgia Collection.

Audit reports produced by the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts published prior to 2000 and additional copies (c.2) of Georgia government publications, primarily published prior to 1993, are housed at the Libraries’ Repository.

State Documents (other than Georgia)

No documents published by states other than Georgia are included in the Government Documents collection.

United Nations Documents

The University of Georgia Libraries have an overall standing order for United Nations Sales Publications in all available subject categories. In addition, subscriptions are maintained for Official Records from the principal organs of the United Nations, as well as for the United Nations Treaty Series and selected periodicals.

Not included in the United Nations documents print collection are mimeographed documents, most International Court of Justice documents, and documents from specialized agencies and other autonomous organizations within the United Nations system, e.g., International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, etc.

A standing order for the Readex microprint/microfiche edition of the United Nations publications is maintained. This includes a complete collection of the mimeographed and printed documents as well as the Official Records of the principal organs of the United Nations. Also included are the documents of every committee, commission, conference and seminar of the principal organs. Sales publications are not all included in the microform collection.

All United Nations documents in various formats are housed in the Government Documents collection in the Main Library, regardless of subject matter.

United States Government Documents


The Federal Depository Library Program originated in the early 1800’s when a joint resolution of Congress directed that additional copies of the House and Senate Journals and other documents be printed and distributed to institutions outside the Federal establishment.

Chapter 19 of Title 44 of the United States Code is the authority for the establishment and operation of the Federal Depository Library Program. The legal responsibilities of Federal depository libraries fall into two broad categories:

  • Providing for free public access to Government information
  • Providing for the proper maintenance of the depository materials entrusted to the individual depository’s care (Instructions to Depository Libraries)

The University of Georgia Libraries was designated a selective depository as a land grant institution in 1907. It was designated as a U.S. Regional Depository in 1977 and is the only regional depository in the State of Georgia. The Regional Depository supports the general collecting activities of the Libraries, the constituency in the 10th U.S. Congressional District, the 23 selective depository libraries in Georgia, and all the citizens of the state. These activities are done in accordance with the requirements defined in the Instructions to Depository LibrariesGuidelines for the Depository Library System, and the Federal Depository Library Manual. As the Regional Depository, the University of Georgia Libraries is expected to have the most comprehensive collection of U.S. Government publications in the State along with the appropriate resources to support access to this collection.

Mission Statement

The U.S. Regional Depository supports the mission of the University of Georgia Libraries through effective utilization of all available resources in order to meet users’ needs for U.S. Government information in a variety of formats. It supports the activities of the Libraries in its current and future instructional and research needs. It provides free and unimpeded access to U.S. Government information to the public and supports the activities of the selective depository libraries in the state.

Selection Responsibility

The US Regional Depository Librarian is responsible for the collection management of the U.S. Government publications collection and oversees any necessary selection responsibilities with appropriate library and university faculty.

As a Regional Depository, the Libraries receive all U.S. Government publications that are distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program of the U.S. Government Printing Office. It is required to retain permanently in its collection all of these documents.

As a general rule, the Libraries will not keep or acquire duplicates of documents for its collection. However, consideration will be given to acquiring duplicate copies of heavily used materials and documents that contain information about Georgia or the Southeast. Government publications from federal agencies that are not distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program may be acquired to enhance the U.S. Government Documents Collection.

Subject Areas and Collection Arrangement

As a Regional Depository, the University of Georgia Libraries collect documents in all formats in all subject areas from all the federal government agencies.

The Superintendent of Documents Classification system is used for most U.S. Government documents in the collection. The documents are housed in separate collections in the Main and Science Libraries. Documents of a reference nature are shelved in designated reference areas in the Main and Science Libraries. Locations and holdings for documents are indicated in the U.S. Government Documents shelf list and in GIL, the Libraries on-line catalog.

The Science Library houses the documents published by agencies responsible for the science and technology areas. Some of these agencies are:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • U.S. National Institutes of Health
  • U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, etc.

The Map Library located off campus houses the maps received through the Federal Depository Library Program with the exception of the Census maps, which are housed in the Main Library.


U.S. Government publications in the Federal Depository Library Program are available in a variety of formats. These formats include paper, maps, microforms, and electronic -- all of which can be added to the collection.

There are very few opportunities when Regional Depositories may choose to receive items in more than one format. When this selection choice is presented, the Libraries choose to receive the item in all the available formats.

The Libraries comply with the current “Recommended Specifications for Public Access Workstations in Federal Depository Libraries” to ensure that the university community and the general public can access US. Government information provided in electronic formats.

Selection Tools for Documents

Selection tools for current items are not utilized since the University of Georgia Libraries are a Regional Depository.

Selection Tools for Bibliographic Access Tools/Reference Resources

The Regional Depository Librarian in consultation with the appropriate subject bibliographers will evaluate for purchase those bibliographic access tools/reference resources and databases available from private publishers, which would improve access to information in the U.S. Government Documents Collection. Some of the selection tools consulted would be:

  • Documents to the People (DttP)
  • Journal of Government Information
  • Government Information Quarterly
  • Publishers brochures and catalogs

Non-Depository Items

The Libraries have subscribed to the Readex/Newsbank U.S. Non-Depository Collection in microprint and microfiche since 1953.

Documents that can be identified as not being in the Federal Depository Library Program but that should be acquired for the U.S. Government Documents Collection or Libraries general collections can be obtained by directly contacting the appropriate government agencies, or by purchase through the U.S. Government Printing Office Bookstore.

Non-depository documents received through mailing lists or as gifts may be added to the collection after appropriate review and evaluation.

Retrospective Sources

The Regional Depository has an extensive retrospective collection of U.S. Government documents even though it was designated a depository in 1907. For example, the collection contains a complete bound set of the Congressional Record beginning in 1789 and a complete set of the War of the Rebellion. The Regional Depository will pursue acquisition of retrospective documents in order to complete sets or to acquire materials not presently owned. Attention will be given to acquiring publications from the “1909 Checklist” and from the retrospective editions of the Monthly Catalog that would enhance the collection. Some of the sources used to identify the availability of older documents would be offers lists from other depository libraries as well as gift and exchange programs. Microforms or reprints of U.S documents offered by private publishers would also be considered.

Resource Sharing

U.S. Government documents not available in the University of Georgia Libraries collection may be obtained from other libraries through the Interlibrary Loan Department.

Documents of a scientific or technical nature distributed through the depository program prior to 1977 may be available at the Georgia Institute of Technology located in Atlanta and may be requested from that institution.

Emory University in Atlanta subscribes to the Readex/Newsbank U.S. Depository Collection that provides access to U.S. depository documents that may not be available in the U.S. Government Documents Collection at University of Georgia Libraries.

Weeding and Maintenance

Because Regional Depositories are required to retain permanently in their collections one copy of all documents received through GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program, traditional weeding practices are not followed. However, consideration may be given to some of the following:

  • If a document is received in two or more formats, a decision can be made to retain only one format
  • If a document is replaced by the same publication issued by a private publishers, the document may be weeded
  • superseded documents may be withdrawn after consulting the instructions for Regional Depositories included in the Superseded List
  • Loose-leaf services are maintained and pages discarded according to the instructions in the document or in the Superseded List

Binding for current U.S. Government periodicals is done on a regular basis whenever a volume is completed. Heavily used documents such as reference sources or Census publications may be bound when received or as needed. Retrospective binding of the collection is done when documents that need to be bound or rebound are identified through regular stack maintenance activities or when documents located for use in the stack area are in need of binding.

Preservation activities are conducted that include basic repair, rebinding and placing materials identified as brittle in protective enclosures to prevent further deterioration and damage.

Attempts can be made to replace badly worn or damaged or deteriorating documents by purchase, through depository offers lists or through reprint and/or microform publishers’ catalogs.


The Regional Depository will provide free and unimpeded access to U.S. Government information to the university community as well as the general public.

The U.S. Government documents are housed in the Main Library building, the Science Library building, the Map Library and in the Repository. The Superintendent of Documents classification number that is assigned to each publication determines its location in the Main, Science or Map Libraries. Documents to be housed in the Repository are selected by the staff of either the Main or Science Libraries. Location information is provided through the U.S. Government Documents shelf list and/or GIL, the Libraries on-line catalog.

Bibliographic access to the U.S. Government Documents Collection from 1976 to date is provided through GIL. In addition, supplementary bibliographic access tools in a variety of formats are available for current as well as retrospective documents.

Reference service for U.S. Government documents is provided for in-person, telephone or e-mail inquires by the public services staff in the reference departments in the Main and Science Libraries and by the staff in the Map Library. Reference service is available all times that these service points are staffed.

U.S. Government documents are included in the Libraries subject bibliographies and handouts, and pathfinders when appropriate. Information concerning the availability of U.S. Government publications is included in bibliographic instruction sessions given by library staff to classes and during general library orientation sessions.

Information about U.S. Government publications in the Libraries is included in the Government Documents Collections home page.

Most U.S. Government documents will circulate to persons with University of Georgia Libraries borrowing privileges. Documents on reference or in the Census Collection or those identified as being rare and endangered generally do not circulate outside of the Libraries. Most U.S. Government documents are available for lending through the standard interlibrary loan process.


Publications in the Library of Congress classifications of J 1-999 are shelved either as part of the Government Documents collection in the Main Library or at the Repository. Except for J84 (U.S. documents), these materials are added by bibliographers, not by Government Documents staff.

Reference Collection

Introduction: The University of Georgia Libraries’ reference collections exist to support the teaching and research of the University’s students, faculty, and staff. The reference collections comprise two formats: print and digital. Print collections are housed in the Main Library, Science Library, and the Miller Learning Center.

This Collection Management and Development Policy serves to guide reference collection selectors. It is a general statement of philosophy that underpins the growth and management of the reference collections at the University of Georgia Libraries.

Definition: A reference tool is “designed by the arrangement and treatment of its subject matter to be consulted for definite items of information rather than read consecutively” (ALA Glossary of Library and Information Science, 1983). Reference tools are usually one of two types: they either promote the rapid retrieval of factual information or they provide a starting point for further research. In either case, they are considered to be authoritative.

Criteria: The goal of the Reference Department is to collect print and digital products that are designed for efficient consultation, to provide factual answers, to give a concise overview of a subject, or to refer users to additional sources for research. It is of paramount importance that each collection strives for a balance between comprehensive coverage and concise in-depth information. The print reference collections occupy prime space on the entry levels of the Main and Science libraries, and their locations attract users who seek assistance in meeting their research, teaching, and general information needs.

Subject Scope: Items in the reference collections should be of broad introductory interest, although specialized sources will be included when they are in high demand. While each academic discipline has somewhat different information needs, reference sources should be weighed in view of their usefulness in finding facts, summaries, or references quickly. Resources that are narrowly focused and not expected to be in high demand are better suited for the stacks, even though their titles may include words such as “encyclopedia,” “dictionary,” or “almanac.”

Information Currency: New editions are added if they provide a substantial amount of newer information.

Authority: Sources are selected on the basis of their authoritative nature. Seminal reference works in a field and accurate, reliable, and current information all lend to the authority of the reference collections. Sources that are based on dubious research, treat topics superficially, or are shown to contain inaccurate information should not be in the reference collections. Librarians should evaluate the reputation of the author, publisher, and editorial staff before selecting a source for purchase.

Language: Strong preference is given to materials in English. Exceptions include foreign-language dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Format: Since ease of use is of utmost importance, selectors must evaluate the arrangement and the quality of indexing in print resources. Preference is given to electronic editions over print versions if the price difference is reasonable, as digital resources are more widely accessible and easier to search comprehensively. For electronic sources, any value-added features such as broader access, usability, currency, and links to related resources must be weighed against the greater cost over a print counterpart. In selecting electronic resources, librarians should favor one-time purchases over sources requiring subscriptions or continuing maintenance fees. In most cases, the cost of the electronic source should not exceed 25% of the cost of the print or have a price differential of $125 or more. Resources on CD-ROM/DVD that are limited to single workstations in the library buildings are generally not purchased.

Duplication: With the exception of a few sources that are heavily used by all disciplines (i.e., citation style guides, English-language dictionaries, and the World Almanac), print reference sources are not purchased for more than one building’s reference collection. Duplication of materials between the reference collections and the Law Library should be kept to a minimum. Duplication of stack material should be also avoided.

Criteria for Specific Types of Materials

Almanacs: General almanacs are no longer purchased with the exception of the World Almanac and Book of Facts. High-demand specialized almanacs such as the Statistical Almanac of the United States, Almanac of American Politics, and The Astronomical Almanac are still collected.

Atlases: Current world and regional atlases are retained in the Main Reference collection until the Map Library moves to the current Russell Library space in Fall 2011. Gazetteers are purchased selectively since place name information is available on the Internet. The Science Library retains world, U.S., and Georgia atlases, as well as selected atlases of subject interest.


  • National and Trade: These are no longer collected, as most countries have an online database or national library catalog.
  • Monographs: Due to the increased availability of bibliographical databases, subject-specific bibliographies are generally not collected by Reference (i.e., Creation/Evolution Controversy: An Annotated Bibliography).

Biographical Sources: Main Reference collects and retains current and retrospective authoritative sources about major figures. Science Reference collects and retains current and retrospective biographical dictionaries of scientists.

Dictionaries: Main Reference selects the major monolingual, bilingual, polyglot, and etymological dictionaries. Science Reference selects general and subject-specific dictionaries of scientific terms as well as a selection of language dictionaries to suit researchers working internationally.

Directories: Directories are purchased when an equivalent depth of information and breadth of listing is not freely available on the web.

Encyclopedias: The Encyclopedia Britannica is available on GALILEO. Since some students still express a preference for print encyclopedias, Main Reference also maintains the Encyclopedia Britannica andEncyclopedia Americana in print. Science Reference collects broad-based encyclopedias covering the major branches of the sciences. Main Reference houses general foreign language encyclopedias for languages that the University curriculum supports. Subject encyclopedias are collected selectively depending on narrowness of scope.

Indexes and Abstracts: Reference subscribes to online periodical indexes that cover major disciplines with preference given to those that include the full-text of the sources indexed.

Legal Reference Materials: Main Reference houses general legal reference sources as well as U.S. and Georgia laws and regulations. Loose-leaf services that pertain to regulations and case law are not purchased in order not to duplicate the Law Library collection.

Manuals: Manuals are not generally collected since they are more appropriately used in laboratories or at field sites. GALILEO does include a small selection of manuals (handbooks, protocols, etc.).

Sacred Texts: Main Reference keeps a representative collection of standard versions of the Bible and other sacred scriptures for consultation.

Statistical Sources: Main Reference selects current and historical statistical sources covering demographic, social, and business topics worldwide. Science Reference selects current statistical sources on relevant topics where available.

Telephone Directories/City Directories: Residential and business telephone directories are not collected except for the most recent years for Athens and UGA. Since the Georgia Room maintains a complete collection of Georgia city directories, only the most recent Athens directory is in Main Reference.

Travel Guides: Guides for major U.S. cities and for popular foreign destinations are added selectively since much travel information is freely available on the web.

Circulation of Reference Materials

Reference materials do not circulate except with special permission from the librarian staffing the reference desk. Before giving permission, check GIL to see if the stacks hold a second copy or an acceptable substitute. Avoid giving special permission to heavily-used titles. Multivolume sets (or any volume that is part of a set) should not be loaned out since they may be difficult to replace. The loan period should not be for more than three days except in extenuating circumstances (i.e., over a holiday). If you are unsure whether to loan an item, it is probably best not to loan it out. Any patron objections may be referred to the department head for a final decision.

Selection Responsibilities

Science Reference and Main Reference each have Collection Development Coordinators who work in collaboration with subject specialists in Reference and Collection Development. They review approval plan shipments, monitor order requests from librarians, and submit orders via OCLC Select or directly to Acquisitions. These individuals have the authority to fund orders and are responsible for tracking expenditures in the one-time budget. The department head handles database subscriptions and is responsible for tracking the continuations and periodicals budgets. The Reference Collection Development Coordinators may set up database trials, but they must first consult with the Reference department head and notify the head of Acquisitions.

Selection: It is important that the reference librarians who are working with the collection on a daily basis be the ones primarily responsible for its development and maintenance. Reference librarians need to keep themselves apprised of available resources in their areas of responsibility. Selection duties include:

  • Recommending titles for purchase
  • Scanning review sources and publishers’ catalogs for important new sources in their subject areas
  • Monitoring new editions and deciding whether they should be purchased
  • Examining availability and price of electronic resources and deciding which format is preferred in light of cost and usability
  • Communicating with their counterpart bibliographer about reference-type titles that may be better suited to the stacks collections
  • Maintaining awareness of the reference sources needed to support class assignments and research trends at UGA

Weeding: Reference librarians should consult with relevant bibliographers to determine if items identified for removal will be transferred to the stacks, sent to the Repository, or withdrawn. Decisions should take into consideration whether another copy or an earlier edition is in the Libraries’ collections and, if so, where it is housed.

  • Avoid sending a book to the Repository when an earlier edition is in the stacks. Consult with the bibliographer to decide whether all editions should be in the stacks or at the Repository, or whether the most recent should be in the stacks with prior years at the Repository.
  • Also avoid sending second, third, or more copies of a low-use title to the stacks or the Repository. Space is tight in both places and withdrawing may be the best option. Check with a bibliographer for circulation counts to determine usage.