Superintendent of Documents Classification System
What is the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Classification System?
United States Government publications are classified by the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Classification System. This system was developed in the library of the Government Printing Office between 1895 and 1903. Like other classification schemes, the SuDoc system has expanded as the size and scope of the federal government has expanded.
The SuDoc system groups publications by government author. Government authors are federal departments, bureaus or agencies of the United States. Since the SuDocs system reflects the organizational structure of the federal government, government reorganization creates changes in the call number system. Thus, some series of publications can be located in several different places within a collection.
Examples of Reading SuDocs
From the following illustration the searcher can know that this publication is a serial-specific issue 83-87 of the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.
- The first letter/letters of a SuDoc number represents a government department or agency (parent organization).
- TD for Transportation Department
- The letters are followed by a number representing the agency as a whole, or a subordinate office. This figure is followed by a period.
- TD4. for Federal Aviation Administration
- After the period, there is a number designating the series or category grouping of publications followed by a colon.
- TD4.10/4: for FAA Airworthiness Directive Listing
- The numbers after the colon represent individual publications in the series.
- TD4.10/4: 83-87 for issues 83-87
There are various sub member designations that give added information. Among these:
- Series Designations:
- TD4.408 for an FAA manual
- Geographic Designations:
- TD.408/22 for an FAA Michigan manual
- Book Numbers:
- TD4.10:52 for an FAA monograph
- Volume Numbers:
- TD4.10/4: 83/PT1
- TD4.10: 980 (1980)
- Subject Cutter Numbers:
- C 42 for Chemistry
Find Documents on the Shelf
Here are some rules you can follow when looking for document call numbers on the shelf:
- The arrangement is alphabetical letter by letter.
- The number between the period and the colon is a whole number, not a decimal.
- After the colon, new lines in the number are shown by slash marks (/).
Current SuDocs in Use (Note: These symbols are subject to change.)
|A||Agriculture Department||J||Justice Department|
|AC||Arms Control and Disarmament Agency||JU||Judiciary (Courts of the United States)|
|C||Commerce Department||L||Labor Department|
|CC||Federal Communications Commission||LC||Library of Congress|
|CR||Civil Rights Commission||LR||National Labor Relations Board|
|CSA||Community Services Administration|
|CZ||Panama Canal Company and Canal Zone Government||NA||National Academy of Sciences|
|NAS||National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|D||Defense Department||NC||National Capital Planning Commission|
|DC||District of Columbia||NCU||National Credit Union Administration|
|National Foundation on the Arts and the|
Humanities National Mediation Board
|E||Energy Department||NS||National Science Foundation|
|EP||Environmental Protection Agency||OP||Overseas Private Investment Corporation|
|FA||Fine Arts Commission||P||United States Postal Service|
|FCA||Farm Credit Administration||PM||Personnel Management Office|
|FEM||Federal Emergency Management Agency||Pr||President of the United States|
|FHL||Federal Home Loan Bank Board||PrEx||Executive Office of the President|
|FM||Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service|
|FMC||Federal Maritime Commission||R||Railroad Retirement Board|
|FR||Federal Reserve System Board of Governors|
|FT||Federal Trade Commission||S||State Department|
|FTZ||Federal Trade Zone Board||SBA||Small Business Administration|
|SE||Securities and Exchange Commission|
|GA||Federal Accounting Office||SI||Smithsonian Institution|
|GP||Government Printing Office|
|GS||General Services Administration||T||Treasury Department|
|TC||International Trade Commission|
|HE||Health and Human Services Department||TD||Transportation Department|
|HH||Housing and Urban Development Department|
|IC||International Communication Agency||X and Y||Congress|