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How are Government Publications arranged on the shelf?


Federal publications are shelved according to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Classification System, an alpha-numeric system that arranges publication by author or issuing agency, rather than by subject. For example, all publications beginning with C originated in the Department of Commerce; all documents beginning with ED originated in the Department of Education. Following this are numbers, letters, and punctuation, all of which are important in the location process.

State and local publications are arranged according to a system called Swank. Each state is given a number—Nevada is 29. As in SuDoc, the following characters in the call number are determined by the issuing agency. County and state publications have "Co" and "Ci" added before the "29," and are shelved after the Nevada state publications. Publications from some other states, mostly those surrounding Nevada, are shelved after the Nevada state and local items.