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. Government Publications (CGP)
  • Z39.50
  • OCLC (membership required)

In addition, there are several other sources for obtaining GPO’s records.

  • Documents Data Miner2 (DDM2)
  • Commercial vendors

Please note - GPO has discontinued the GPO Cataloging Data Subscription Service.

CGP on GitHub

GPO provides files of the bibliographic records of the CGP on its CGP on GitHub repository. GitHub is a web-based computer source code sharing and publishing service. A GitHub account is not required for downloading the records and viewing the descriptions of the record sets, known as the README files.

Beginning in October 2017, GPO initiated the service by posting a sample set of over 8,000 bibliographic records in the character-set UTF-8 (Unicode compliant).

LSCM offers multiple collections of record sets, which are listed in the repository README file. Each record set is posted in UTF-8, MARC-8, and MARCXML formats.

LSCM is making available, free of charge, bibliographic records for the online versions of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) publications. Learn more

CGP Monthly Record Sets

Six monthly sets of new and updated catalog records are available in the three formats. The naming conventions of the files are as follows: “cataloging_records-YYYYMM_####_format.mrc”. The abbreviation YYYYMM stands for the year and month, and #### represents the number of bibliographic records in the record set. Format indicates if the character set is in UTF-8, MARC-8, or MARCXML format.

Each of the files includes the following categories of bibliographic records:

  • Records created/updated by the LTS staff with valid OCLC numbers
  • Records created/updated as part of the Historic Shelflist project
  • Newly created/updated brief bibliographic records

Obtaining Files

When downloading files from the repository, all of the files in the repository are included in the downloaded zip file.

  1. On the main repository page, click on the “Code” button in the right-hand section of the page.
    step one: main page click code

  2. Select “Download ZIP.”

    download zip

  3. Click on “Download ZIP”.
  4. The browser may have the following prompt at the bottom:

    download ready

  5. A ZIP file with all of the files on the repository will be downloaded to your computer.
  6. Click on “Save”.
  7. Unzip the file with WinZip or another zip utility, and get the file you need. 


GPO wants to know what you think of this service and how you use these files. We ask that you to send your feedback via the Issues section of the GitHub repository or by submitting your comments via askGPO, selecting the category “Federal Depository Libraries” and then the subcategory “Cataloging.”

Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP)

Federal depository libraries are eligible to participate in the Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP). Since 2009, GPO has contracted with MARCIVE, Inc. to provide a monthly batch of bibliographic records to each participating library. The records may include those matching each participating library’s FDLP item number selection profile and GPO Historical Shelflist records. New libraries are typically added each October, the beginning of the fiscal year. Contact GPO to learn if there are vacancies or a wait list to join. The CRDP is available at no cost to the library.

The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)

From the CGP, you can send up to 20 catalog records per email at no cost. You may select from various email formats, including MARC tags, and various types of encodings. The processes for obtaining records from the CGP is described in the “Working with Results” section of the CGP help page.

The New Titles page of the CGP offers lists of various types and formats of records, such as electronic resources, serials, and integrated resources, compiled in the previous week, two weeks, month, and three months, from which you can make selections to email to yourself.  


Z39.50 is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ National Information Standards Organization (NISO) communications protocol. It is used to search and retrieve bibliographic records in online databases of library holdings. It also allows you to download bibliographic records in MARC format and load into your library’s bibliographical database at no cost. There is a limit of 10,000 records per download.


GPO creates new bibliographic records and adapts existing records in OCLC, the global library cooperative. Your library must be a member of OCLC in order to export GPO records from this system into your local catalog.