The University of Kansas as a Federal Depository Library

The University of Kansas has long been acknowledged as an institution uniquely positioned to serve not just the Lawrence community, but the broader regional communities of the state of Kansas and beyond. Since its founding in 1865, KU has provided a point of access for scholars, students, and other individuals to acquire necessary knowledge and information. Recognizing KU’s potential to provide permanent public access to federal government information, the United States Senate designated KU Libraries as a Federal Depository Library on January 27th, 1869, per the nomination of Kansas Senator, E.G. Ross.

The Federal Depository Library Program was established to ensure free, local access to materials published by the United States government, and to provide expert assistance in locating government information. While there are over 1,084 Federal Depository Libraries across the country, KU Libraries serve as one of only 46 Regional Depository Libraries. Nominated to be a Regional Library in 1976 by Kansas Senator, Bob Dole, KU is committed to serving the entire state of Kansas. In addition to providing no-fee public access to government information and retaining publications permanently in a variety of formats. As the Kansas regional depository, KU Libraries support and assist citizens throughout the state with interlibrary loan and reference services.

Government Information Librarians have helped to make KU a leader in the field of government information management. In 1995, government information librarian, Donna Koepp, oversaw KU’s creation of the “U.S. Serial Set Index, Part XIV: Index and Cartobibliography of Maps, 1790-1969,” a highly regarded, comprehensive index to the approximately 50,000 maps contained in the US Congressional Serial Set. In 2018, under the leadership of government information specialists, Carmen Orth-Alfie and Neal Axton, KU Libraries joined the GPO’s Preservation Steward Partnership, a growing number of FDLP institutions across the country who have committed to preserving and increasing access to a specific collection of tangible depository resources. To earn this prestigious designation, KU Libraries have agreed to preserve their rich collection of Congressional Hearings transcripts.

In celebrating 150 years as a Federal Depository Library, KU Libraries reaffirm their continuing commitment to “keep America informed” and they continue to fulfill the mission that they have championed since 1869: to provide expert assistance in preserving and accessing government information in order to create a more empowered citizenry, ready to move the nation forward.

KU’s depository collections of tangible government documents and maps are primarily located in Anschutz Library. Other materials can be requested from the Library Annex or found online. Learn more about the Federal Depository Library Program.