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Government Documents: Home

This guide covers the basics of finding and using government documents and provides links to various governmental and public resources.


Welcome to the Government Documents LibGuide!

This Library Guide is designed to help you find Canadian and Provincial Government Document information in the BU Library collection and online.

If you need materials from other jurisdictions, we may also help you locate them.

There are many points of contact if you would like help with locating information:.

  • The Government Documents Office is located in the North Stacks of the Library (room 202A).  Feel free to stop in if you see I'm there!
  • The Reference Desk on the Main Floor is staffed 11 to 3, Monday to Friday.
  • Or, ask for help at the Circulation Desk in the Main Library or the Music Library.  In addition, you may make an appointment (see the options on the right of this screen; or click on "Make a Research Appointment" on the Library home page), give us a call, use our Chat service, or email us.

Things to know about Government Documents

  • Governments publish a lot of information on a wide variety of topics.
  • Sometimes it will make a difference which Government published the document you want - for example, if you want a specific law, it is useful to know if it is a federal law or provincial law. If you need help with this, ask us.
  • Increasingly, these Gov Docs are available on the web. The BU Library cannot always get paper versions of these items.
  • There are databases which index fulltext online Gov Docs. These will make it easier to identify online Gov Docs.
  • There are Canadian Statistics in places other than the Census.
  • Looking for Canadian Censuses? Chances are, you are looking at a year ending in a 1 (2011, 2001, 1991, and so on) or a 6 (2006, 1996, 1986, and so on). Many of these documents are in the Government Documents Collection which is in the North Stacks of the Library.
  • A search on the BU Library Catalogue/One Stop Search will return Gov Docs (and videos, ebooks, streaming videos, and so on) along with all other results that match your search.
  • Not all Gov Docs in the BU Library are on the BU Library Catalogue. (Census publications, for example.) Please ask when you cannot find what you want.
  • Not all Gov Docs in the BU Library are in the Gov Docs area. They may be found in other locations, including Main, Music, Reference, Oversize, and Reserve.

The Library


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Marian Ramage
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