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HIST 6800: Atlantic World Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade: Government Documents

Library and Internet resources that may be useful for doing research on the history of slavery and the slave trade.

Start With These Databases

Other Useful Databases & Internet Sites

Finding Documents in the Library

U.S. government publications are arranged on the shelf by an alphanumeric system called the Superintendent of Documents Classification Scheme (SuDocs).

Letters stand for the publishing agency, for instance

A for Agriculture
C for Commerce
L for Labor
PR for Presidential documents

and so forth

The number following the period is a whole number NOT A DECIMAL.

C 3.9 (9 files as the number nine)
C 3.44 (44 files as the number forty-four)
C 3.223 (223 files as the number two hundred twenty-three)

The government documents collection is next to Periodicals (south side, first floor)

U.S. Serial Set

The Serial Set includes various Congress working papers such as:

  • Documents
  • Reports
  • Early agency publications (pre-1860)

It does not usually include hearings. The collection does include a small number of older hearings that were considered so important that they were republished as House or Senate Documents.


All U.S. Serial Set documents, 1789-present, are included full text in ProQuest Congressional!

A sample of a few Serial Set documents:


Other databases and paper indexes that can be used to identify the House and Senate documents and reports that might be useful:


Useful Print Indexes

Cumulative Subject Index to the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publicationis 1900-1971
MAIN GOV DOCS INDEXES Z 1223 .A 1973x v.1-15

Cumulative Title Index to United States Public Documents 1789-1976
MAIN GOV DOCS INDEXES Z 1223 .Z7L47J83 v.1-16

Index to U.S. Government Periodicals, 1975 - 1987
GOV DOCS REF Z 1233 .Z915

Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, 1895 - 1976