Cataloging & Indexing

The Cataloging and Indexing (C&I) Program is one of the Superintendent of Documents’ Public Information Programs mandated by Title 44 of the United States Code (U.S.C.). The statutory obligation of the C&I Program is to prepare and publish a comprehensive index of every Federal document issued or published by a department, bureau, or office, not confidential in nature, and regardless of format. This is derived from the requirements for cataloging and indexing codified at 44 U.S.C. §§1710-1711 and 44 U.S.C. §4101(a).

The goal of the C&I Program is to develop a comprehensive and authoritative national bibliography of U.S. Government publications to increase the visibility and use of Government information products, and to develop a premier destination for information searchers. Beginning in 1895, the national bibliography was issued as a printed catalog called the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. In 2004, this paper publication was replaced by an online searchable catalog, the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP). The CGP contains all bibliographic records U.S. Government publications generated by GPO since July 1976, as well as records for earlier publications added through the Historic Shelflist Project, and projects undertaken with Federal depository libraries. Many of the records within the CGP contain direct links to publications available online. The catalog is updated daily with records for new and historic publications, making the CGP the central point for locating new and historical Government publications.

Federal depository libraries interested in working with GPO to exchange cataloging records, work together to catalog older materials, or on other cataloging related projects are encouraged to review the Cooperative Cataloging Guidelines and contact the partnership coordinator.

GPO classifies publications using the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Classification Scheme. Developed at GPO, the system is used to organize publications by Government author. Class numbers reflect the organization of the U.S. Government at the time they are created and are changed as necessary to reflect changes in Government organization. In addition to providing SuDoc classification numbers for Congressional documents, GPO also provides Library of Congress Classification for specific categories of these documents.

Cataloging and Indexing at the U.S. Government Publishing Office
This webcast provides an overview of the Cataloging and Indexing Program, including information about what GPO catalogs, GPO cataloging policies, and how to obtain GPO catalog records.


  • GPO Statement on Outdated and Offensive Language (09/22/2023)
    GPO acknowledges that publications in the CGP date from the 1800s to the present, and they, and their descriptions, may contain outdated, discriminatory, offensive, or insensitive language. FAQs address what GPO is doing to improve description. Instructions for reporting offensive language to GPO are also included.
  • Attaching Regional Depositories’ OCLC Holding Symbols to GPO Cataloging
    The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) first began setting holdings for regional depository libraries in February 2005. OCLC’s discontinuation of their GPO Cataloging subscription service resulted in a change in p
  • Bibliographic Records for NIST Publications on GitHub Repository
    Library Services and Content Management (LSCM) is making available, free of charge, bibliographic records for the online versions of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) publications on the CGP on Gi
  • Cataloging and Accessing Congressional Serial Set Publications
    The Superintendent of Documents proposed discontinuing the printed United States Congressional Serial Set Catalog (Serial Set Catalog) after production of the 105th Congress (1997-1998). The online Catalog of U.S. Govern
  • Cataloging Digital Reproductions
    With an increasing number of digital reproductions being created by Federal agencies and by GPO and GPO's partners, GPO's Library Technical Information Services (LTIS) has formulated procedures for cataloging digital rep
  • Creation of Brief Bibliographic Records
    In an effort to provide Federal depository libraries and the general public with more timely access to bibliographic records in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) (, Library Services
  • GPO Cataloging Guidelines
    Over the years, GPO has developed practices and procedures for cataloging Federal Government documents. These practices are codified in the GPO Cataloging Guidelines.  There have been four updates to the Guidelines
  • Separate Record Cataloging Policy
    At the request of the Federal Depository Library community, the Government Publishing Office, Library Services & Content Services, Library Technical Information Services (LTIS) staff has formulated a policy for creat
  • Sources of GPO Cataloging Records
    GPO makes its cataloging records available to libraries in a number of ways. Most of these options are free of charge to libraries. CGP on GitHub Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP) Catalog of U.S. Govern