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Government Documents & Government Information

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)

The Federal Depository Library Program was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government’s information. GPO administers the FDLP on behalf of the participating libraries and the public. Information products from the Federal Government are disseminated to these nationwide libraries that, in turn, ensure the American public has free access to the materials, both in print and online.

This symbol designates a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents.  Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law.  (Title 44 United States Code)

The Legal Information Center on the Wilmington, Delaware campus participates in the Federal Depository Library Program.  It is a selective depository for United States government documents, and has been since 1976.

Core documents in the collection are the laws of the United States, Congressional publications, decisions of the Judiciary, and regulations issued by federal agencies. Because the study of law touches on all aspects of life, other agency publications are considered for inclusion in the collection as well.

The Legal Information Center integrates government documents into the main body of its collection.

Documents are cataloged according to the Library of Congress (LC) classification scheme and shelved in LC order with other materials that the library selects, and are searchable via the library's public access catalog.

Government documents that have not been converted to LC classification are shelved in designated government document areas of the Legal Information Centers, such as microform cabinets.

The Legal Information Center provides links to government documents that have been selected and that are also available on the Internet via its online catalog.

Finding Journal Articles available from Widener Law Commonwealth and Widener University

To locate journal articles, perform a search in one of the databases listed below.  The following databases are listed on the law library’s webpage under Library Resources, A-Z Databases.

Use the databases to search for articles on your topic.  Some databases provide full-text display of articles while others only provide citations to, or abstracts of, articles.  Some of the databases linked to in this Guide are subscription databases.  Access is available to these databases on the campus and also off campus.

Obtaining Books and Articles through InterLibrary Loan

If none of the Widener libraries owns the book or article you need, you may request it through InterLibrary Loan.  ILLiad is the InterLibrary Loan service used by Widener.  This service is available only to currently enrolled Widener students, faculty and staff.  Alumni and visitors do not have InterLibrary Loan borrowing privileges.  Please note that you must first register for ILLiad before you can request materials through InterLibrary Loan.  To register, click on the InterLibrary Loan link listed under the "Library Services" section on the Library's homepage at:  Widener Law Commonwealth Library

Next select the campus on which you are located, and click on "First Time Users."  Once you have registered, fill in as much of the request form as possible.  The more information you provide, the better.  If you are a registered user of ILLiad, simply enter your username and password to continue. 

Most photocopies will be delivered electronically.  You will be notified via your Widener email account with a link to your article, which will be in pdf format.

All InterLibrary Loans, except copied articles, must be returned to the Information Desk by the due date.