Documents Access

To find what government documents we have here at Wellesley, start by doing a search in our library catalog . Most publications are housed at the Margaret Clapp Library; a large number of science titles and United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps are in the Science Collection. Most depository materials may be requested through Interlibrary Loan. To find government documents in general, use the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications provided by GPO. Pre-1976 documents can be hard to track down. Ask a librarian for help.

Due to the complexity of finding government materials, it is recommended that users come to the Library when help is available at a Reference Desk. The collection does circulate. There is no charge for borrowing but a photo ID will be required, showing name, address, and phone number, in order to account for the borrowed publication in our library system. Please call 781.283.2166 or visit our Government Documents home page for information and reference hours.

Patrons will be expected to display appropriate conduct as library users. The Library reserves the right to remove any disruptive patron.

The Margaret Clapp Library is accessible to the physically challenged.

Paper & Microfiche Titles:

  • The Library selects material in various formats; paper, microfiche, and electronic. Access to our microform reader/printer is available to the general public. The reader/printer converts microfiche to a pdf which can be emailed to the user.

Electronic Materials:

The public is welcome to use the computers in the Clapp library to access online government information. Campus visitors with personal computers are granted use of the Wellesley College Wireless network for a 24 hour period, but access is limited to non-Wellesley websites due to licensing and security issues. Users must adhere to Wellesley's Responsible Use of Information Technology policy.

  • CD-ROMs/DVDs: Government information in CD-ROM/DVD format distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is available to the public, but it is recommended that a patron call ahead in order for a staff member to have the requested title loaded at a work station. Reference and government documents staff will make every effort to assist patrons in the use of our CDs and DVDs, but software and content variations make it difficult to be extremely knowledgeable about every CD/DVD. Information may be downloaded to a pre-formatted storage device supplied by the user. The library is not responsible for any loss or damage to personal storage devices when downloading. Material may not be stored on a Wellesley computer's hard drive.
  • Internet Use: Patrons wishing to access official government information from the Internet are welcome to use selected computers in the Reference areas of the Clapp and Science libraries, but the computers may not be used for general internet browsing, chat rooms, or social networking sites. Internet use must be limited to government information. Email may be accessed in order to attach government documents' files to a message. Printers are available as well, although there may be a small charge to print. The Library supports and adheres to the FDLP Internet Use Policy Guidelines. There are no sign-up sheets to use our computers; however, there are written policies stating priority is given to those needing the computers for library research. Computers may not be reserved ahead of time.

The Wellesley College Library Research & Instruction staff will provide reference assistance in accessing the information users are seeking, regardless of format. If we do not select the items that are needed, we will attempt to help the user locate where the information may be found.