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December 2010 Lost Docs Report and Appeal


In December 2010, we received and posted 39 reports to GPO from librarians reporting documents that had seemingly fallen through the cracks of the cataloging process. The reports were originally sent to GPO between October and December 2010.

This month was a great one for cataloging lost documents. Of the 39 reported documents posted by us, 17 (44%) have been cataloged and in the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP) as of this writing. See these records for yourself by visiting lostdocs.freegovinfo.info/category/found/ and looking at the postings with December 2010 dates. We are appreciative of these new records.

From December, 16 items remain listed as “fugitive documents”, with four others remain listed as “pending”, where GPO has indicated an item will be cataloged, but no public record in the CGP is available.

You can view the pending items lostdocs.freegovinfo.info/category/pending/ and looking at the postings with December 2010 dates. The fugitive items are available at http://lostdocs.freegovinfo.info/category/lost/.

Two documents reported to GPO appeared to already have public CGP records and we classed them as “false positives.”

Please remember that our listing of “fugitive documents” reports is only as complete as you make it, since GPO does not yet publish any statistics we’re aware of on fugitive documents/document discovery.


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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