Skip to main content

Government Information: About

This is a guide to assist users in finding government information.

About the Collection

Milner Library enjoys the distinction of being among the first libraries in the nation designated a federal depository library. 

In March of 1858, when the University was less than a year old, Illinois representative  Owen Lovejoy granted  the University Library-at that time, a collection of fewer than 300 books-the honor of becoming an official depository for resources published by the Government Printing Office.  We were one of only three Normal School libraries in the nation given this distinction. Today, Milner serves as one of the oldest members in a network of approximately 1,250 federal depository libraries across the nation. 

Depository libraries provide free local access to publications of public interest and educational value from all three branches of the Federal government. Within an academic setting, the depository collection offers curriculum support for students and faculty in all disciplines. With the University's commitment to civic engagement via the American Democracy Project and Political Engagement Project, students take advantage of a wide variety of government publications.

Recent popular items include reports assessing the Iraq war and the Mitchell Report investigating steroid use in Major League Baseball. Perennial favorites include the No Child Left Behind Act, government research on smoking, and demographic data from the Census Bureau. 

After 150 years, Milner's depository collection consists of over million titles. Within the last decade, access to government information has expanded to provide anywhere/anytime access to more than 30,000 government titles available fulltext through our catalog. We welcome all from the campus and community to browse our historic and current resources online or on the 4th floor.  Please call (309)438-2354 for assistance!