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Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909, Third Edition Revised and Enlarged, Volume 1, Lists of Congressional and Departmental Publications Page: XII


This volume, with its awkward title, "Tables of and annotated index to the Congressional
series of United States public documents," but popularly referred to by
its short back title "Tables and index," was issued in 1902. The Congressional
tables at the beginning, arranged by serial numbers from the 15th to the 52d Congress,
both inclusive, contain a revision of similar matter from the 2d edition of the
Checklist. To these are added an index of 640 pages containing author and subject
entries for the documents and reports of the Congresses covered (except those of
a private or unimportant character), also several appendixes of historical interest.
The work ended with the 52d Congress, because the Document catalogues began
with the 53d. In the Tables and index a place was assigned for the folio edition
of the American state papers, arranged by zero serial numbers at the head of the
Congressional documents.
Ever since the 2d edition of the Checklist of public documents was issued in 1895,
an effort has been made to gather material for a revised and enlarged edition on a
much more comprehensive plan, a plan which contemplated, first, the bringing
down to date of the Congressional tables, and, second, the inclusion of a classified
arrangement of those publications which have emanated directly from the Executive
Departments and independent Government publishing offices, indicating in the
briefest possible way which were and which were not in the Congressional set.
For such a compilation the Public Documents Library offers rare facilities, because
it contains the most complete file of United States public documents. Other large
libraries may have as many, perhaps even more, United States documents of a particular
class or on a particular subject, but nowhere else than in this library will be
found in one spot so nearly complete a collection of the output of all Government
publishing offices, past and present.
It should be borne in mind that this Checklist is based on the classification used
in this office; that it is virtually a shelf list of the Public Documents Library; and
that, with the comparatively few exceptions indicated by an asterisk (*), entries
represent only those publications which are in our library. The Checklist therefore
can not claim to list absolutely all of the publications of the Government; but in the
case of many of the issuing offices our collection is thought to be complete, and the
statement is undeniably true that this is by far the most extensive list of United
States Congressional and departmental publications ever issued.
It is in the province of this Checklist to give only such information as is deemed
essential for the purposes of a checklist, and it omits much information which would
of course be given in a full catalogue. One of the most noticeable of such omissions
is that, whereas full titles and dates of issue are given in entries for publications
which do not belong to a numbered or dated series, for serial publications, such as
Bulletins, Circulars, etc., the Checklist gives only their numbers and tells how many
editions of each were printed, omitting their titles and dates of publication. In all
cases this Checklist omits the collation, i. e., number of pages, illustrations, plates,
maps, etc., unless such information is required in order to identify the document
The 3d edition of the Checklist replaces the 2d edition and also that part of the
"Tables and index" which gives the numerical lists of the American state papers
and the Congressional tables. It does not, however, supplant the index to the
"Tables and index."
In this 3d edition the American state papers appear first of all, arranged by zero
numbers from 01 to 038. These are followed by the series of Congressional documents
and reports, 15th-60th Congress, arranged by serial numbers from 1 to 5561.
Then come the departmental publications arranged by Government authors.

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United States. Superintendent of Documents. Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909, Third Edition Revised and Enlarged, Volume 1, Lists of Congressional and Departmental Publications, book, 1911; Washington D.C.. ( accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library,; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.