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Webinar on fugitive documents: notes and links

These are notes and links and resources mentioned in our webinar on fugitive government documents that Jim and I presented for the “Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian” webinar series:


Process for “fugitive hunting:”

In the paper era, FDLP librarians would subscribe to mailing lists and make personal contacts with local/regional offices of Federal agencies (EPA, Forest Service and the like) in order to make sure their libraries were collecting all documents in scope of the FDLP. Fugitives in the paper era numbered in the 10s/year. As James A. Jacobs noted in his presentation, the scope of born-digital documents from Federal agencies demands a collaborative, FDLP community-wide, large-scale fugitives project:

  1. keep track of agencies
  2. use tools like Update Scanner firefox plugin to keep track of when a federal agency’s site is changed and when individual documents are published.
  3. Delve into the “dark web:”
    1. create a list of known federal dbs
    2. analyze the dbs to find static url structures
    3. Report fugitive documents (see #5)
  4. Check GPO’s Catalog of Government Publications (CGP) to see if the new publications have been cataloged.
  5. Report fugitive documents to GPO and to the LostDocs blog
  6. Join the “Everyday Electronic Materials” Zotero group and help us test out a newer, faster, more automatic fugitive document workflow!!
  7. Lather, rinse, repeat!

Code Snippets

<form action="http://www.archive-it.org/public/search">
<input type="hidden" name="collection" value="***COLLECTIONID***" />
<input type="text" name="query" />
<input type="submit" name="go" value="Go" />

<form action="http://www.archive-it.org/public/search">
<input type="hidden" name="collection" value="***COLLECTIONID***" />
<input type="text" name="query" />
<input type="submit" name="go" value="Go" />

Note: You can search across the Stanford Archive-It collections via https://archive-it.org/organizations/159. For the Search form to work, you’ll need to edit the ***COLLECTIONID*** to in 2 places with the proper ID:

—Bay Area governments = 903
—Climate Change = 1064
—CRS reports = 1078
—FRUS = 1515
—FOIA = 924
—Fugitives = 2361


Baldwin, Gil. 2003. Fugitive Documents – On the Loose or On the Run. Presentation by Director, Library Programs Service, GPO American Association of Law Libraries Conference Seattle, WA, July 15, 2003. Administrative Notes Vol. 24, no. 10 (August 15, 2003).

Bower, Cynthia. Federal Fugitives, DND, and other Aberrants: a Cosmology. Documents to the People v17 n3 (Sep 1989) p.120–126.

Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group. 2014. “Link Rot” and Legal Resources on the Web: A 2014 Analysis by the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group

DiMario, Michael F. 1997. PUBLIC PRINTER. Prepared Statement Before The Subcommittee On Legislative Branch Appropriations Committee On Appropriations U.S. Senate On Appropriations Estimates For Fiscal Year 1998. (JUNE 5, 1997)

FDsys Collections

Jacobs, James A. 2014. Born-Digital U.S. Federal Government Information: Preservation and Access. 2014. Report prepared for Leviathan: Libraries and Government Information in the Era of Big Data, CRL (April 25, 2014). Also see: Government Records and Information: Real Risks and Potential Losses. [Presentation slides and audio recording] and Speaker notes, additional links, examples, and accompanying material.

Kott, Katherine B. 2010. Everyday Electronic Materials in Policy and Practice. CNI Fall 2010 Project Briefings.


Shaw, Thomas Shuler. 1966. Library Associations and Public Documents, Library Trends (July,1966) p167–177.

Stanford University, Social Sciences Resource Group. Archive-It collections.

U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance. Increasing analytic capacity of state and local law enforcement agencies…

U.S. Code. Title 44

U.S. Department of State. Keystone XL Pipeline Project Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS).

U.S. President.Executive Order 13662.
Other copies: White House, Federal Register, Federal Register printer-friendly, GPO Federal Regsiter PDF, GPO Federal Register html, GPO html, GPO mods, GPO Premis, GPO zip

U.S. White House. The White House current third party (social media) pages / accounts

Zotero Group: Everyday Electronic Materials

Selected Technologies and Infrastructures

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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