Government Publications

Government publications at Concordia Libraries

Government Publications, sometimes called government documents, or official publications, are "informational matter which is printed as an individual document at government expense or as required by law." They include publications from intergovernmental organizations, such as the United Nations. Historical and current information on government, public administration, social, cultural and economic issues, commerce and industry, international relations, and science and technology, is available.

Government information is a rich source of primary materials. The collection include, among other items, reports of royal commissions, committees, and task forces; Public Accounts, and Estimates of expenditures; annual reports of some government departments and agencies and other administrative reports; lots of statistics (including census) and statistical analyses from Statistics Canada and other statistical agencies; treaties; the Debates of Parliament (Hansard) and proceedings of parliamentary committees; and the Débats de l'Assemblée nationale du Québec; and much more.

Government publications are found in both Concordia Libraries as indicated below.

Webster Library Government Publications

Government of Canada: Concordia was a full depository library for Canadian government documents from 1968 to 2014. In March 2014 the Depository Services Program (DSP) print publications distribution to libraries was terminated by the government of Canada. Documents received were in printed format, microform, or in electronic format, mostly online and free of charge. The Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications, issued by the DSP, listed items that were sent to depository libraries on a weekly basis. Since March 2014, the Weekly Checklist has been maintained as a list of electronic documents that are freely available online.

Government of Québec: As a full depository library for the documents issued by the Government of Québec, a collection of departmental, parliamentary and legal publications is available. Documents were acquired in printed format and in microform, but most current items are available full text via the database of documents from 2001 onward maintained by Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec.

Provincial and Territorial Governments: A selective collection of publications from departments and agencies of the government of the ten provinces and the two territories is available. These publications are indexed with abstracts in the database Canadian Research Index (CRI). The provincial titles listed in the CRI are available in microfiche in the Government Documents Area of the Webster Library.

United States, United Kingdom: A selective collection of current and historical documents from the Congress of the United States and from the Parliament of Great Britain is available in paper format or in microform.

United Nations (UN): There is an extensive collection of United Nations documents from 1946 onward in microprint (reader available) and/or in paper. The collection includes the proceedings of the General Assembly and other organs of the UN, Yearbook of the United Nations and more.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): The collection of OECD books and periodicals in printed format covers all subject areas, from 1967 until approximately 1999. For books, periodicals and statistical databases from 1999 onward search the full text database SourceOECD.

City of Montreal: Selective collection of departmental publications in paper format with some titles issued in the 1950s.

Vanier Library

Government of Canada: Selective collection of publications, including Statistics Canada.

Africa, particularly South and East Africa: A selective collection of historical documents from African countries can be found in the Vanier Library, mostly in the separate collection located behind the reference area. Documents from Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rhodesia, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and other countries are available, mostly in print or on microform and for the 1960’s and 1970’s. Some late colonial documents from East Africa are available; some country's collections, such as South Africa's, continue up to the 1980's.

Locating government publications at Concordia

Increasingly, government publications issued in the Webster and Vanier Libraries are listed in CLUES. Many items issued by the Governments of Canada and Québec and older items from OECD are kept in the general library collection and are shelved by call number like the books.

However, some documents are kept in the separate collection on the second floor of the Webster library and are listed only in the card catalog of Government Information Services. Such materials in printed format or on microform include documents from the Parliament of Canada and Statistics Canada, annual reports from many department and agencies of the Government of Canada and the Government of Québec, titles from the City of Montreal, the United States government and the United Nations. Also, there is a separate government publications section in the Vanier Library.

Note: A large portion of the Webster and Vanier collections are available in printed format; however, some documents, largely in the Webster Library, are available on microfiche, microfilm or microprint or in electronic format. Equipment for reading and photocopying the materials is available in both libraries.

To see what's available on the Internet, take a look at Government publications by region. Also check Databases: Government Information.

Borrowing government publications at Concordia

The publications in the general library collection in both libraries can be borrowed like books. Those kept in the separate government publication collections in the Webster and Vanier Libraries are available for consultation in the library.

Hours and locations

Assistance in locating publications is available at Webster and Vanier Libraries Reference Desk during service hours.


Webster Library, Second floor
1400 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West
Montreal, Quebec
phone: 514-848-2424, ext.7711

Vanier Library, Main floor
7141 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec
phone: 514-848-2424, ext.7766

page last updated on: Wednesday 4 March 2015
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