Month of November, 2009
[UPDATE: I spoke too soon. Seems that these are "early access" documents that "will be removed from this database, to be replaced by the fully edited version in the appropriate digital edition in the Rotunda American Founding Era collection."]
More than 200 years after they were written, some 5,000 previously unpublished documents of the founders of the United States — including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison — are at long last available to the public at no cost.
The Documents Compass group of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia has spent much of the last year proofreading and transcribing thousands of pages of letters and other papers.
The documents are now available online for free at the University of Virginia Press’ digital imprint called Rotunda...
...The online project is a federal pilot study that aims to expand public access to the papers of America’s founders. It is funded by a $250,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, which is a division of the National Archives.
[Thanks Resource Shelf!]
In September 2009 we at Free Government Information (FGI) started the "lost docs blog" at lostdocs.freegovinfo.info to collect your receipts from GPO about the fugitive documents you reported through GPO's lost docs form at www.fdlp.gov/lostdocs or through GPO's Help system at gpo.custhelp.com.
Here is the November Lost Docs Report and Appeal:
Thanks to the continued generosity of documents librarians, we posted 60 reports of fugitive documents submitted to GPO. These receipts were a mixture of old receipts and items actually reported in November 2009.
Of these 60 reported items, 17 items have been cataloged by GPO. You can view this list by visiting lostdocs.freegovinfo.info/category/found/ and looking at the postings with November 2009 dates. We are appreciative of these new records.
In our view, only one of the items reported to GPO and posted to the blog in November were either out of scope for the Catalog of Government Publications or were already in the catalog. You can view this item by visiting lostdocs.freegovinfo.info/category/false/ and looking for items with November 2009 dates.
If you like the concept of a public listing of fugitive documents reported to GPO, there are a number of easy ways to help us:
- If you report a fugitive document to GPO, send your e-mailed receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome any item reported to GPO in the past month.
- Visit the blog at lostdocs.freegovinfo.info and comment on the listed items. Comments can include -- Did your library receive the item? Did you find it in the CGP? Do you think the item is out of scope for the CGP? Did you report the item as well and so on.
- Post the blog link to your website or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media.
- Subscribe to the blog feed at lostdocs.freegovinfo.info/feed/
or better yet incorporate the feed into your website or blog.
Noah Shactman's cool Danger Room blog (from Wired) posted recently about the CIA's declassified Lost Magic Manual that has just resurfaced. In 1953, the CIA hired professional magician John Mulholland to adapt his techniques of stealth and misdirection to the craft of espionage. According to the BBC News, "the guide was part of a larger CIA programme, called Project MKULTRA, aimed at countering the Soviet mind-control techniques of the Cold War era." The classified manuals were believed to have been destroyed in 1973, but Intelligence historian H. Keith Melton and retired CIA officer Robert Wallace discovered a copy in 2007 in the CIA Archives. The Boston Globe has a great visual summary of some of Mulholland’s best tricks. Get a copy from isbn.nu. A great addition to any library. In fact a bunch of them already have a copy!
At the height of the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency paid $3,000 to renowned magician John Mulholland to write a manual on misdirection, concealment, and stagecraft. All known copies of the document — and a related paper, on conveying hidden signals — were believed to be destroyed in 1973. But recently, the manuals resurfaced, and have now been published as “The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception.” Topics include working a clandestine partner, slipping a pill into the drink of the unsuspecting, and “surreptitious removal of objects by women.”
January 1, 2010 is Public Domain Day, according to the Open Knowledge Foundation. And on January 1, the works of 563 authors will enter into the public domain! See OKFN's public domain database. You can change the year on the end of the url to see list of public domain works for other years or search/browse by person or work. Pretty cool. Some of the more famous authors whose works will be released to the public domain include Sigmund Freud, Zane Grey, Sidney Howard, Ford Hermann Hueffer (aka Ford Madox Ford), Edward Sapir, Constance Lindsay Skinner, and William Butler Yeats.
[Thanks Open Knowledge Foundation!]
Google announced recently that Google Scholar searches would now include legal opinions from U.S. federal and state district, appellate, and supreme courts. There is an early review of this service at LLRX:
- Bridging the DiGital Divide: A New Vendor in Town? Google Scholar Now Includes Case Law. By John J. DiGilio, LLRX (November 18, 2009).
Is Google Scholar a replacement for the more expensive case law providers on the market? DiGilio says not really, but that it does offer is an amazing place to start case research.
The Columbia Journalism Review "Audit" section (which reports on the business press) has created a guide to information about big federal spending programs. It has lots of links and explanations of what you can find. This is a great starting point for tracking down information on the Bailout and Stimulus.
- BAILOUT! STIMULUS!—YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE, Columbia Journalism Review, "The Audit."
In a specially commissioned study, The Audit here takes a look at online resources tracking the bailout and stimulus money, from government web sites to independently run operations. It’s not comprehensive, but it’s pretty good.
According to the White House Blog (Making A List, Checking It Twice, by Katie Stanton, November 23, 2009):
Today we’re launching a list on the official White House account on Twitter which will make it easier for people to follow U.S. Government Twitter feeds. We’ve included a variety of accounts from Cabinet Secretaries, Agencies and Departments.
The list address is http://twitter.com/whitehouse/usg.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched Health IT Buzz, a new blog for the discussion of Information Technology (IT) issues, particularly electronic health records.
David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said on the initial posting:
With this new venture, we hope to create a forum for engagement. We plan to report on progress, and create an open dialogue among members of the health IT community. We intend to address a wide and diverse range of timely topics relevant to the “why’s and how’s” of efforts to support the secure and seamless exchange of electronic health information. We will discuss our ongoing work to protect patient privacy, secure information, and implement standards. We’ll also be using the blog to provide additional information regarding our new grant programs. And the conversation wouldn’t be complete without discussing the meaningful use rulemaking and incentive programs, clarifying our vision and addressing key challenges.
We want to hear from citizens, patients, health professionals, managers, policymakers, technology enthusiasts and technology skeptics. We can’t succeed unless we understand the wishes and concerns of the many constituencies we serve.
Libraries, Journalism, and Publishing share some common issues and face many common challenges in the digital age. It seems particularly appropriate that, as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) holds a workshop on the future of journalism, it is using digital tools to reach more people.
The FTC will hold workshops in Washington, DC on December 1 and 2, 2009, to explore how the Internet has affected journalism. The event is free and open to the public. The workshop will assemble representatives from print, online, broadcast and cable news organizations, academics, consumer advocates, bloggers, and other new media representatives.
You can submit questions using the Twitter tag #ftcnews.
Comments can be filed online at https://public.commentworks.com/ftc/newsmediaworkshop. See submitted comments here.
A live webcast will be available on the day of the event. Bookmark this page and come back on December 1st and 2nd to link to the webcast.
Thus, I finally updated the latest list of Bills and contact information for the sponsoring Congressmen in the Delicious.com "CRS" tag Delicious.com "CRS" tag.