Government Document Depository Collection Users

Updated July 13, 2021

Please note: PUL will continue to limit access to Library locations to Princeton University faculty, students, and staff with activated card access to buildings through the end of August. For patrons affiliated with a member of University faculty, graduate student, or staff, a small number of exceptions may be possible on a case-by-case basis. To submit a request for consideration, please visit the EHS visitor page and complete the form linked on the right. Please note that the Library will need to approve this form, not the sponsor's department head. Send completed forms to refdesk@princeton.edu and include the collections to be accessed by the visitor. Allow three business days for review of requests.

Princeton University Library houses 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 see the important information provided here to ensure that your visit to the library is productive and successful.
  7. Please contact a depository specialist to access the depository collection outside of regular depository hours.