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September 2010 Lost Docs Report and Appeal


In September 2010, we posted 31 “lost docs” e-mail receipts sent by GPO to the librarians who reported these missing documents. These civic minded librarians in turn e-mailed us their receipts. How many reports did GPO receive? Only they know, but the more people who send their fugitive docs e-mail receipts to lostdocs@freegovinfo.info, the more accurate our count will be.

Of the 31 reported items that were posted to the blog in September, seven items have been cataloged by GPO since the initial report. You can view this list by visiting lostdocs.freegovinfo.info/category/found/ and looking at the postings with September 2010 dates. We are appreciative of these new records.

Actually, if you view the list of “found” documents, you’ll notice 12 entries, five of which are also marked “fugitive.” In these five instances, we have been provided a note that GPO intends to catalog these items. However there was no publicly available record in the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP) when we searched those titles.

We will take the “fugitive” tag off those records if we’re made aware of a CGP record

In our view, eight of the items reported to GPO and posted to the blog in January were either out of scope for the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP) or were already in the catalog. You can view these items by visiting lostdocs.freegovinfo.info/category/false/ and looking for items with March 2010 dates.

Most of these “false positive” items relate to the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill and may reflect proactive activity on GPO’s part to get any oil spill related documents. If so, we commend them.


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:

  1. If you report a fugitive document to GPO, send your e-mailed receipt to lostdocs@freegovinfo.info. We welcome any item reported to GPO in the past month. It is best if you can send us the receipt the same day you get it from GPO. Some e-mail programs will support auto-forwarding. If so, please consider autoforwarding items where the subject contains “lostdocs submission.”
  2. 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.
  3. Post the blog link to your website or share it on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media.
  4. Subscribe to the blog feed at lostdocs.freegovinfo.info/feed/
    or better yet incorporate the feed into your website or blog.

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