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How to Find California Documents in the HSU Library

This guide explains how to find documents issued by California state agencies and the California Legislature. Some are received as part of the Library's California documents depository and are available in the Documents Collection on the third floor of the Library.

If you need further assistance please contact our reference staff.

Seal of the State of California

California Depository Overview

The HSU Library is one of 125 California state depository libraries. The Library became an official "selective" depository in 1945, but some document series extend back to the beginning of California statehood in 1850.

Approximately 1,000 California documents are published annually, of which the Library receives about 140. These are split equally between legislative and state agency documents. Documents not available locally can be requested on interlibrary loan.

Publications from the University of California, e.g., University of California Publications in Botany, are not considered California documents. They are listed in the HSU Library Catalog and are shelved in the regular book collection.

Web Availability

Most current California documents are available on the web. In addition some older California documents are being digitized and becoming available on the web. Documents originally received in paper in the HSU Library may now be on the web.

Indexes to California documents may not indicate web availability. For current web availability search Google or other search engines. In addition the Government Information and Databases research guide lists sources for finding California documents and information on the web.

The California State Government: Web Archive collects and preserves on a regular basis hundreds of California state agency web sites that are useful for historical research.

Library Availability

With a citation to a California document you need to consult one of the following sources to find local availability and the CalDoc number for the document. You may have found this citation in a California document index, subject database, or in a personal reference.

1999 to present


California State Agency Classification System

California documents are organized using the California State Agency Classification System which groups materials by issuing agency rather than by subject. A copy of this classification system is kept next to the California Documents Shelflist.

Every California document is assigned a specific CalDoc number which is needed for locating a document in the HSU Library.

Example: California Statistical Abstract (F380 S8 2001) where

California Statistical Abstract
F380 = agency (Dept. of Finance)
S8 = individual document or document series title
(California Statistical Abstract)
2001 = publication year or issue number

The first two lines of a typical CalDoc number are described below.

Indexes to California Documents

The following indexes and catalogs can be used to find documents issued by California state agencies and the California Legislature. These resources can be searched by subject, title or author.