Vanderbilt's Central Library has been a selective depository for federal government publications since 1884, a United Nations depository since 1946, and a Food and Agriculture Depository since 1948. As of 2016, the Central depository selects about 49% of the nearly 6000 categories offered by the US Government Printing Office. The depository is home to approximately 900,000 paper, microfiche and CD-ROM holdings.
Other government information is available at selected Vanderbilt libraries. The Alyne Queener Massey Law Library was designated as a selective federal depository library in 1976. The Stevenson Science and Engineering Library has been a Patent and Trademark depository since 1988.
The mission of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is to assure free and unimpeded public access to information published by the United States government. This includes all government information products, regardless of format or medium, which are of public interest or educational value, except for those products which are for strictly administrative or operational purposes, classified for reasons of national security, or the use of which is constrained by privacy considerations.
The public is welcome to use the federal depository collection without charge. The Vanderbilt Libraries and GIMS have a longstanding commitment to public access to information created by or for the federal government.
During hours restricted to authorized card holders, patrons without card privileges wanting to use the depository can gain access by informing library staff they wish to use the library's depository resources. For questions about access to government information, please ask a library staff member.