Government Publications Department
Tennessee Regional Depository

Procedures for Withdrawal of U.S. Government Depository Publications


Selective U.S. depository libraries served by a regional may withdraw depository publications which are no longer needed and which have been held for at least five years from the date of receipt. Withdrawal of depository publications by depository libraries in Tennessee must be according to these guidelines and procedures which are designed to insure that legal requirements are met, that valuable information is not lost and that publications to be withdrawn are handled in the most efficient manner for all libraries. These procedures are based on the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). In October 2011, Tennessee began using a two tiered withdrawal process which additionally incorporates the use of the Association of South Eastern Regional Libraries (ASERL) Documents Disposition Database.


The University of Memphis was designated the regional depository for Tennessee in 1989. Tennessee was the last state to receive a regional depository. At the time, shared archival holdings agreements were signed between the University of Memphis and six other selective libraries for pre-1989 publications. (See Tennessee Depository Flyer No. 1, August, 1990) Withdrawals by Superintendent of Documents Class lists Departments and Agencies of the federal government which are held by the shared holdings libraries and the regional library.


1. All publications must be retained for five years from the date of receipt with the following exceptions:

a. Superseded materials not marked with an 'R' may be discarded without offering them on a weeding list for regional depository approval. Click here for guidelines and lists.

b. With prior approval of the regional, tangible publications may be substituted with online equivalents provided the publication has been held for one year and the online version is official, complete, and free of charge to the user. For guidelines see 2b.Online Substitution under Weeding a Depository Collection.

2. Prior to preparing a list of documents to be discarded, the discarding library should first check the Class Designations (below) — Serials in Various Classes and Withdrawals by Superintendent of Documents Class to determine the designated library responsible for collecting materials for specific SuDoc stems. Check documents for discard against the DO NOT NEED lists for the designated library linked on the Tennessee Discard Master List page. If any documents intended for discard match the ones on the appropriate list, offer them directly on the ASERL Disposition Database (See below). The rest of the documents must be listed to the designated library.

3. Prepare a list of the publications to be discarded in SuDoc number order according to the Guidelines for Formatting Lists. Include the library name and date on the first page. The receiving library may request an estimate for the number of volumes to be withdrawn or a linear measurement, and approximate dates, and format if other than paper. Indicate format if other than paper (i.e. pamphlet, CDs, oversize).

a. For monographs and cuttered series, the description should include the SuDoc number, a brief title, and the date of publication of the document.
Example: TD 8.8:P75/7 Manual of Model Police Traffic... 1986

b. For numbered series, the description should include the SuDoc stem, series title, beginning and ending numbers with a "some missing" note if appropriate, specifying the missing issues.
Example: L 2.3:1684 - 2210 (1971-1981) missing 1900, 2201

c. For serials, the description should include the SuDoc stem number and title; years or volumes; and missing issues if any.
Example: A 106.17: Family Economics Review v. 1-22 1969-1990 missing v.1 #2

4. Lists should be sent electronically as attachments.

5. The regional will check the list and return it in approximately 3 weeks, marking the publications which it needs. Withdraw and send the publications.

6. The regional library will request 3x5 shelf list cards for specific documents if needed. For series, one card with holdings is adequate. For monographs, individual cards must include the SuDoc number and title.

7. The SuDoc number should be placed on the front cover on the top left corner of all publications sent to the regional. The SuDoc number should be in the form of a typed label or written in ink -NOT IN PENCIL. Pack boxes in SuDoc order and number boxes in order. Do not pack boxes too heavily.

8. Postage is the responsibility of the withdrawing library.

9. After lists have been reviewed by the regional library, the withdrawing library should post all remaining documents on the ASERL Documents Disposition Database.

The ASERL Documents Disposition Database
The Collaborative Federal Depository Program was developed by depository libraries in the Southeast in order to build and manage comprehensive collections of United States government information from each Federal government agency through the creation of Centers of Excellence.  Developed by the University of Florida, the ASERL Documents Disposition Database provides a convenient means by which documents may be offered for disposal and needs may be fulfilled in accordance with the ASERL Guidelines for Managing FDLP Collections in the Southeast Region.
Instructions for creating an account and the use of the database are detailed in the ASERL Documents Disposition Database LibGuide.

ASERL Documents Disposition Database Login
After 45 days any unclaimed items may be discarded. However, with especially valuable or historical titles the regional may request the withdrawing library to offer the unclaimed items nationally via GovDoc-L  or GPO's Needs and Offers List


Publications attributed to the shared holdings libraries and the regional library according to the lists linked below should be withdrawn according to the above procedures. The shared holdings libraries assume the role of the regional library for their pre-1989 designated SuDoc numbers. Any SuDoc Number not included in the lists must be listed to the University of Memphis.

As a courtesy, libraries wishing to withdraw documents should email the appropriate shared holdings library for permission to send a list. The shared holdings library may request an approximate number of volumes or linear feet and date range for the documents.

The shared holdings library will give permission to send the list. If delays are expected, the shared holdings library must notify the withdrawing library.


Post-1989 publications in all classes are the responsibility of the regional depository.

January 2020



Serials in Various Classes

Withdrawals by Superintendent of Documents Class

Withdrawals by Designated Shared Holdings Library

November 2019