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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Historical election data and mapping now easier than ever!

I’ve been exploring the Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA) and have been impressed by their historical lower house election data coverage from countries around the world, not just the US Congress.

Things are really starting to shape up (pun intended!) in having access to historical election results! And through the work of Jeffrey B. Lewis et al., you can get data describing the historical boundaries of each congressional district via their United States Congressional District Shapefiles site. In a Scientific Data article published last year, quantitative geographer Levi John Wolf presented a dataset that brings the two types of information together, so that all congressional election results from 1896 to 2014 are “explicitly linked to the geospatial data about the districts themselves.”

The Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA) is a repository of detailed election results at the constituency level for lower house legislative elections from around the world. Our motivation is to preserve and consolidate these valuable data in one comprehensive and reliable resource that is ready for analysis and publicly available at no cost. This public good is expected to be of use to a range of audiences for research, education, and policy-making.

via Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA).

HT Daniel Schuman!

2016 End of Term Web Archive is now available

The 2016 end of term .gov/.mil web crawl is now available! We collected approximately 300TB of government websites which includes over “70 million html pages, over 40 million PDFs and, towards the other end of the spectrum and for semantic web aficionados, 8 files of the text/turtle mime type” as well as @100TB of public data via .gov FTP file servers! Thanks to everyone who participated on the project and the thousands(!) of seed nominators, both individuals and those that came in via DataRefuge and EDGI tools and public events.

The End of Term Web Archive contains federal government websites (.gov, .mil, etc) in the Legislative, Executive, or Judicial branches of the government. Websites that were at risk of changing (i.e., whitehouse.gov) or disappearing altogether during government transitions were captured. Local government websites, or any other site not part of the federal government domain were out of scope.

Walks through a sunken dream: the CIA report on life on Mars

Document of the day — perhaps of the decade!! Thanks MuckRock!

In 1984, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sent a psychic back in time to talk to Martians. This is not code language. The CIA sent psychics back in time to talk to Martians because the CIA had time-traveling spacefaring psychics. Nothing else we could say would make more sense given what the CIA had and did.

via Walks through a sunken dream: the CIA report on life on Mars.

GPO releases digital Congressional Record for 1911-1921

GPO is diligently working on releasing digital versions of the historic Congressional Record. The Congressional Record is now available on govinfo from 1911 – 2008. Historic!

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1911-1921 on GPO’s govinfo. This release covers the debates and proceedings of the 62nd through the 66th Congresses.

This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • The final year of the administration of President Taft, the election and reelection of President Wilson, and the election of President Harding
  • Ratification of the 16th (income tax), 17th (popular election of Senators), 18th (Prohibition), and 19th (voting rights for women) Amendments to the Constitution
  • Admission of New Mexico and Arizona as states
  • Jeanette Rankin elected as first woman to the House of Representatives
  • Establishment of the Federal Reserve
  • Enactment of P.L. 62-5, capping the number of Members of the House of Representatives at 435
  • Senate enactment of the cloture rule to limit debate
  • Sinking of the Lusitania
  • World War I

via GPO Issues Digital Release of Historical Congressional Record for 1911-1921.

GPO releases digital Congressional Record for the 1920s

GPO has just released another decade of digitized Congressional Record, this time 1921 – 1930. The Congressional Record is now available on govinfo from 1921 – 2008. Very cool!

Washington –The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1921-1930 on GPO’s govinfo site. This release covers the debates and proceedings of the 67th through the 71st Congresses.

This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • The final two years of the administration of President Wilson, the administrations of Presidents
    Harding and Coolidge, and the first two years of the administration of President Hoover.
  • Prohibition
  • The Immigration Act of 1924
  • The Kellogg-Briand Pact to end war
  • The Dawes Plan for WWI reparations
  • The Teapot Dome Scandal
  • The Stock Market Crash of 1929

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