Skip to body

Central Washington University

CWU Library Celebrates 50th Year as a Federal Depository Library

November 21, 2012

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- In 1962, Central Washington University's Library was congressionally designated as a depository for US Government documents, to provide public access to government documents collection as guaranteed by public law. CWU Library is one of only 1,250 libraries in the nation and one of only 19 in Washington to be designated as a Federal Depository Library (FDL). The CWU Library also has been a depository for Washington State government publications since 1955.

The Brooks Library will celebrate its 50th year as a FDL from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on November 27 with a public open house featuring tours of the Government Documents Department. At 5:15 p.m., CWU President James L. Gaudino will open the celebration and at 5:30 p.m. there will be an award presentation by Mary Alice Baish, Superintendent of Documents, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC. Refreshments will be served. Parking at CWU is free after 4:30 p.m.

“The FDL is a tremendous resource, not just for CWU, but for all of central Washington,” said Patricia Cutright, dean, CWU Libraries. “The general public is welcome to freely make use of these valuable materials.”

The library is a treasure trove of history and literature. The Early American Imprints collection contains the complete text of virtually every book, pamphlet, and broadside printed in the United States from 1639 to 1800. The Papers collections include personal papers from individuals, such as Jane Addams and Andrew Jackson, along with papers from organizations, such as Indian Rights Association from 1864 to 1973 and the National Woman's Party from 1913 to 1974.

Subjects covered by government information include almost every topic imaginable. Popular materials include consumer information, recreation guides and foreign country data. Technical and special documents include tax forms, patents and environmental impact statements. Official publications contain laws, regulations and legislation.

The government publications collection is located on the 3rd floor of CWU Library. The collection is open for browsing. Separate rooms for maps and microforms contain furniture and equipment for viewing and copying these materials. For more information about the library go to

Since 1813, depository libraries have safeguarded the public's right to know by collecting, organizing, maintaining, preserving, and assisting users with information from the Federal Government. Depository libraries provide local, no-fee access to Government information in an impartial environment with professional assistance.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.