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GPO & Library of Congress begin release of digitized Congressional Record

This is good news. Today GPO announced the first release of digitized volumes of the Congressional Record, part of a collaborative project between GPO and the Library of Congress. The plan is to go back to volume 1, 1873. So stay tuned for additional releases.

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress (LC) to release the digital bound Congressional Records from 1991-1998 on GPO’s govinfo. This release covers debates of the 102nd through the 105th Congresses.

This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

The Persian Gulf War
Bill Clinton’s Presidency
NAFTA
Enactment of the Family and Medical Leave Act
Republicans gaining control of both the House and Senate since 1954
GPO and LC will continue to collaborate on this important project and release digital versions of the bound Congressional Record back to the first one published by GPO on March 5, 1873. GPO publishes the Congressional Record in print and digitally on govinfo every day Congress is in session.

via GPO & Library of Congress Begin Digital Release of All Congressional Records.

Nominations sought for the U.S. Federal Government Domain End of Term Web Archive

Some of our readers may have seen this announcement already. But in case not, we need your help to preserve the .gov domain. See the announcement below to find out how.

How would YOU like to help preserve the United States federal government .web domain for future generations? But, that’s too huge of a swath of Internet real estate for any one person to preserve, right?!

Wrong! The volunteers working on the End of Term Web Archiving Project are doing just that. But we need your help.

The Library of Congress, California Digital Library, University of North Texas Libraries, Internet Archive, George Washington University Libraries, Stanford University Libraries, and the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) have joined together for a collaborative project to preserve public United States Government websites at the end of the current presidential administration ending January 20, 2017. This web harvest — like its predecessors in 2008 and 2012 — is intended to document the federal government’s presence on the World Wide Web during the transition of Presidential administrations and to enhance the existing collections of the partner institutions. This broad comprehensive crawl of the .gov domain will include as many federal .gov sites as we can find, plus federal content in other domains (such as .mil, .com, and social media content).

And that’s where YOU come in. You can help the project immensely by nominating your favorite .gov website, other federal government websites, or governmental social media account with the End of Term Nomination Tool (link below). You can nominate as many sites as you want. Nominate early and often! Tell your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. Help us preserve the .gov domain for posterity, public access, and long-term preservation. Only YOU can help prevent … link rot!

For more information, contact [email protected]

Carl Malamud fighting for public information

A story about Carl Malamud’s long fight to keep public information public. Details his current fight against a lawsuit that seeks to keep laws that cover building codes, plumbing regulations, and product safety rules for baby seats accessible only for a fee.

  • Carl Malamud has standards by Steven Levy, Backchannel (Sep 12, 2016).
  • For the past 25 years or so, Carl Malamud’s lonely mission has been to seize on the internet’s potential for spreading information — public information that people have a right to see, hear, and read.

    Systematic bias at the US Copyright Office

    Wow, just … wow! Go right now and download (or better yet, store a copy in your local repository like we’re going to do!) Public Knowledge’s new report about the US Copyright Office entitled Captured: Systemic Bias at the US Copyright Office. This is how a completely unaccountable government agency runs roughshod over the public interest and trust.

    Public Knowledge‘s new report, Captured: Systemic Bias at the US Copyright Office makes a beautifully argued, perfectly enraging case that the US Copyright Office does not serve the public interest, but rather, hands out regulatory favors to the entertainment industry.

    Starting from the undeniable evidence that the easiest way to get a senior job at the Copyright Office is to hold a senior job in a giant entertainment company first (and that holding a senior Copyright Office job qualifies you to walk out of the Copyright Office and into a fat private sector gig as an entertainment exec), the report documents the numerous instances in which the Copyright Office has said and done outrageous things, and grossly misinterpreted the law, leading in many cases to being slapped down by the courts.

    This is 100% pure, white-hot smoking gun. What’s more, since the Copyright Office is in charge of much of American internet/technology policy, it’s a national scandal.

    via The US Copyright Office is the poster child for regulatory capture / Boing Boing.

    FGI Podcast: Building a Collaborative FDLP

    Today’s lunchtime listen is FGI’s first podcast(!), a conversation recorded on July 25, 2016, with James A. Jacobs, James R. Jacobs, and Shari Laster discussing “Building a Collaborative FDLP.” If you missed that post, here’s an excerpt:

    FDLP libraries can work together to provide, collectively, more than GPO — or any one library — can provide on its own. A collaborative FDLP is not one mega-library with one huge collection of only those documents that GPO can get. A collaborative FDLP consists of many curated collections that include Title 44 content, fugitive content (which GPO cannot force agencies to deposit), and non-Title-44 content that is out of GPO’s scope (e.g., FOIA’d documents, state/local/international government information, non-government information etc.). And each curated collection will have accompanying services tailored to that content for a community of users.

    In such a collective approach, every community has access to the content and services it needs and every library provides a small slice of all those customized collections and services. In this approach, each library’s local-institutional community benefits from the contributions of every library.

    This approach requires libraries to make one big change in the way they think of “communities.” In this approach, a “community” is a group of people who have common information needs — they need not live and work near any particular library or even near each other. In this approach every library focuses on one or more Designated Communities.1 In this approach every institution benefits from the collective work of all FDLP libraries rather than the individual work of only its own local-institutional library.

    This approach will result in an FDLP collection that is more complete than GPO can build and maintain on its own and more comprehensive than Title 44; it will have much better functionality, and it will be more secure for the long-term.

    Stream or download the podcast from the Internet Archive.



    Do you have ideas for more conversations and podcasts you’d like to hear? Please share your feedback in the comments!

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