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Government Documents

Hekman Library is a congressionally designated selective depository for United States government documents. Public access to the Government documents collection is guaranteed by public law (Title 44 United States Code). We have been a depository library since 1967. Our collection includes census data, maps, congressional publications, laws, supreme court opinions, and selected materials from nearly every federal government agency.

Government Documents Collection Timeline:

  • May 1967 - Rep. Gerald R. Ford writes a letter to the library director, Lester DeKoster, inviting Hekman Library to be designated as a second depository library in the (then) 5th Congressional District
  • 1967 - John Smilde becomes first Depository Librarian until his retirement in 1969
  • 1969 - Steven Lambers becomes second Depository Librarian until his retirement in 1992
  • Early 1990s - Government documents are added to the online catalog, and documents begin to be distributed in electronic format
  • 1993 - Diane Vander Pol appointed Government Documents Librarian and holds that position until her retirement in August 2011
  • 2003 - The library becomes a depository for Michigan documents - one of 12 throughout the state
  • 2007 - Hekman Library celebrates 40 years as a Depository Library with a college-wide reception. Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers presents the library with a commemorative plaque from the GPO
  • 2009 - Diane Vander Pol receives the Jennie Award
  • 2010 forward, most documents made available online
  • 2011, Aug. 31 - Diane Vander Pol retires

While Hekman Library will maintain a collection of government documents in printed format, materials collected from 2012 forward are almost exclusively electronic.  Government documents can be located via search of the library catalog and/or the Government Printing Office's FDSys database.  Print materials located on the government documents compact shelving may be checked out by special arrangement with a reference librarian.  For search advice consult our guide on how to find Government Documents.

Government Documents

Government Documents (2nd Floor)

In addition to serving the persons on Calvin's campus, the Hekman collection of government documents is available for use without fees by the citizens of Michigan's third congressional district.  Hekman Library is one of two depositories in the third congressional district in Michigan, which includes Barry, Ionia, and most of Kent counties. The other depository library is Grand Rapids Public Library.