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Government Documents: SUDOC Classification

A guide for the Government Documents Collection

Superintendent of Documents Classification

The Superintendent of Documents Classification System or SuDocs is based on the issuing agency of the government. The SuDocs system is an alpha-numeric call number scheme which places items together according to the agency that issued the document. The SuDocs Classification scheme is based on Federal Government Agencies rather than broad subject areas. Below is a breakdown of some of the major designations.

A Agriculture Department

C Commerce Department

D Defense Department

E Energy Department

ED Education Department

EP Environmental Protection Agency

FEM Federal Emergency Management Agency

FR Federal Reserve System

FT Federal Trade Commission

GA General Accounting Office

GS General Services Administration

HE Health and Human Services Department

I Interior Department

IC Interstate Commerce Commission

J Justice Department

L Labor Department

LC Library of Congress


NF National Science Foundation

P Postal Service

PE Peace Corps

PR President of the United States

PREX Executive Office of the President

S State Department

SBA Small Business Administration

SI Smithsonian Institute

SSA Social Security Administration

T Treasury Department

TD Transportation

VA Veterans Administration

X Congress

Y Congress

SUDOC Number Basics

The SuDoc classification system is designed specifically for United States government documents. The SuDoc number is assigned by the office of the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) of the Government Printing Office. Unlike most classification systems, SuDoc numbers are not based on subject. Instead they are created based on the agency which issued the publication and because government agencies are organic -- they grow, split, merge, die, etc. -- SuDoc numbers can be quite simple or very complex. For instance,

I 1.1:917 Reports of the Department of the Interior. 1918.
I 29.6/6:F 75/988 Ford's Theatre and the House Where Lincoln Died. 1988.
I 53.11/4:43109-E1-TM-100/991 Ramshorn, Wyoming Surface Management Map. 1991.

To read a SuDoc number, you must begin by recognizing the constituent parts. First off, SuDoc numbers are divided, usually at the colon, into two parts -- the stem and the book number which then combine to make a complete SuDoc number. We'll use I 29.6/6:F 75/988 as an example.


image of [ I 29.6/6:F 75/988 ] SuDoc number