Government Document Depository Collection Users

Princeton University Library houses major collections of publications from four governmental entities: the European Union (1964- ), the State of New Jersey (1950- ), the United Nations (1945- ), and the United States Federal Government (1884- ). The collections are the product of signatory agreements by which these four governmental entities deposit their publications at Princeton University free of charge, with the understanding that the general public will be granted reasonable access to them.

Access to the Depository Collections by the general public is a major exception to the Library's overall Access Policy, by which free use of library materials is generally restricted to members of the Princeton University Community. Access to Depository Collections entitles a visitor who is unaffiliated with the University to use those publications received through depository agreements only; it does not entitle use of the Library's general collections of books, journals, microforms, datafiles, and other purchased materials.

The Depository Collections are available for public use only during specified hours. Libraries other than Firestone with separate subject collections, such as the Lewis Library, may have different hours.

Procedures for Use of Depository Collections

  1. A visitor interested in using the depository documents collections must first check in with the Access Office in Firestone Library or, when the Access Office is closed, with Library Security. 
  2. Access Office staff will contact a reference librarian, who will discuss the visitor's research needs and determine whether the question requires depository materials or a different referral. The visitor may be asked to wait in the Access Office if it is necessary for the librarian to confer with others in this process.
  3. If requested depository materials are available, the visitor will be provided with a Depository Access Pass and directed to the Information Desk to meet a depository specialist. The Depository Access Pass can be used to leave the Library and return during the day; however, the pass is valid only on and for the day issued, and remains at the Information Desk until the end of the depository visit.
  4. Printed matter pertaining to each Depository Collection is available, and assistance in locating and using information will be provided by the reference librarian.
  5. Upon completion of the visit, the visitor is asked to notify the depository specialist.
  6. Please contact a depository specialist to access the depository collection outside of regular depository hours.