In October 1906, United States Representative
George Lilley allowed Wesleyan’s libraries to receive publications of
congress, the president, federal courts and federal agencies, at no cost.
Wesleyan was designated as one of the nation’s few depository libraries,
under the auspices of the U.S. Government Printing Office.
In October 2006, Wesleyan libraries are celebrating their centennial as a
Depository Library for United States Government publications. Judy Russell,
superintendent of documents, will take part in the ceremony, scheduled for 4
p.m. Oct. 20 in Olin Memorial Library.
An exhibit will accompany the celebration. It
will feature documents from 1906-2006 and focus on the technologies that
were present at the time.
“We are fortunate to receive the publications, whether monographs or
subscriptions; both would cost us lots of money if we purchased them or
subscribed,” explains Erhard Konerding, Olin Library documents librarian.
Konerding estimates there are about 1,100 designated Depository Libraries in
the U.S., however the number is declining. The Regional Depositories,
averaging one per state, receive 100 percent of the offerings; other
libraries varying percentages. Wesleyan receives, free of charge, about 30
percent of the publications offered in pre-selected categories by the
Government Printing Office, and is required by federal law to make them
available to the general public.
faculty and staff can access United States Government publications from the
Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the United States
government in several formats: paper, microfiche, CD-ROM, diskette,
videocassette, and online. Wesleyan’s collection emphasizes the social
sciences, and is strongest in Congressional publications, statistics and
As part of the centennial celebration, Olin’s
Special Collections and Archives will be hosting an exhibit inside the
library tentatively titled "A Century of Government Information.” This
exhibit will feature examples of government documents, which Wesleyan
For more information on the U.S. Government Information offered through
Wesleyan’s libraries, visit