U.S. Government Information

The South Carolina State Library is a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The FDLP was established by Congress to ensure public access to American Government information. Our collection of Federal publications is available for use by visitors, and physical items may be loaned to cardholders and to other libraries.

On the Go and On the Shelf FDLP logo

The State Library is a selective depository; we choose items based on the needs of state employees, South Carolina government legislators, and the needs and interests of our local communities. Our collection is strong in the areas of agriculture, laws and regulations, the census, health, the national parks system, and defense. We also strive to obtain all items on any topic relating to South Carolina.

We collect items in a variety of formats including print collections, kits, maps, DVDs, and electronic publications. Electronic titles are listed in our online catalog with an attached link.


Some individual publications about South Carolina have been entered into our South Carolina Federal Documents Digital Collection. Please contact us for more information about federal government publications. Our Reference staff will be happy to assist you.

U.S. Government Information at the South Carolina State Library

Resources from the federal government and information on the federal documents collection at the State Library.

FDLP Content in Libraries

FDLP content consists of:

  • Tangible resources (including print, microfiche, and CD-ROMs) that our library has selected through the FDLP and has available in the library. Cataloged items can be found through the SCLENDS catalog.
  • Online only publications available in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP). Among many other resources, these include:
    • Publications in govinfo.
    • GPO MetaLib Resources. Linked from the CGP., MetaLib is a federated search engine that searches multiple U.S. Federal Government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations and providing direct links to resources available online.
    • The FDLP WebArchive.The Web Archive collections are cataloged in the CGP. To see the titles within the collections, access the FDLP Web Archive.
  • FDLP Basic CollectionThese are selected, core U.S. Government publications that are vital sources of information supporting the public's right to know about the working and essential activities of the Federal Government. Every Federal Depository Library is required to have the titles in this list available for immediate use. The list is updated periodically.
  • Official online content partnership resources from library or Federal agency partners who have made online content available for free, public access. Content is available through bibliographic records in the CGP. Some content is also in govinfo.
  • Agency subscription databases, currently only the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL). Depository libraries have no-fee access to the full database. Each interested library must register for access. 

FDLP Libraries in South Carolina

There are 20 Federal documents depository libraries in South Carolina. All are selective libraries except Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, which is a Regional Depository library.

About the FDLP

The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. Every day the U.S. Government issues congressional bills, laws, regulations, presidential documents, studies, and more on a variety of topics. The FDLP was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information. The FDLP is administered by the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO).

The authority for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the legal obligations of designated Federal depository libraries are found in 44 United States Code §§1901‐1916.