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GPO releases digital Congressional Record for the 1970s

The Government Publishing Office just announced that they’ve released another decade of historic bound Congressional Record, this time covering 1971 – 1980.

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1971-1980 on GPO’s govinfo system.

This release covers debates and proceedings of the 92nd through the 96th Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • The Administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter
  • Passage/ratification of the 26th Amendment (allowing 18-year-olds to vote)
  • Watergate
  • The end of the Vietnam War
  • The Bicentennial
  • Civil Service Reform Act of 1978
  • The Iran Hostage Crisis
  • OPEC and the Oil Crises of the 1970s
  • Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act

via GPO Issues Digital Release of Historical Congressional Record for the 1970s.

GPO releases digital Congressional Record for the 1980s

Back in September, 2016, we posted about the project undertaken by the Government Publishing Office and Library of Congress to digitize the Congressional Record in its entirety back to 1873. At that time, GPO released volumes from 1991 – 1998 (covering the 102nd – 105th Congresses). Today, GPO issued a press release about the next segment of the Congressional Record publicly available online, this time from 1981 – 1990. All digital volumes 1981 – 2001 are now available on GPO’s GOVINFO site.

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress (LC) to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1981-1990 on GPO’s govinfo. This release covers debates and proceedings of the 98th thru the 101st Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • Ronald Reagan’s Presidency and the first two years of George H.W. Bush’s Presidency
  • The Strategic Defense Initiative
  • The Space Shuttle program
  • The Iran-Contra Affair
  • The end of the Berlin Wall and the Cold War
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act

GPO and LC released the digital version of the historical Congressional Record for the 1990s in September and 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 Issues Digital Release of Historical Congressional Record for the 1980s.

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.

Document of the day. Or why a paper document may be better than a digitized version

I just received an old (historic NOT legacy) Department of Commerce publication off of the needs and offers list called “Commercial handbook of China” by Julean Arnold, commercial attaché (WorldCat record). It’s actually a 1975 reprint of a 1919 publication. It’s chock full of statistics relating to provinces, cities, and consular districts — agriculture, minerals and mining, populations, exports and imports, revenues, transportation, ports and shipping facilities etc. In short, this is a gold mine of historic information and statistics from the Republic of China (pre-Communist China). The document was digitized and is available in HathiTrust as well as the Internet Archive (see book reader below).

However, in comparing the digitized version with the paper version in hand, I came upon several issues:

  1. there are 3 foldout maps that were not digitized. These maps are critical information on railway lines and treaty ports in China. The bibliographic record has a physical description including “2 v. fronts., plates, fold. map, tables, diagrs., fold. charts” but no content note mentioning that the maps were not digitized.
  2. As I mentioned, the document is chock full of statistical tables. Have you ever tried copying and pasting tabular data from a PDF? It’s even worse when the tables are displayed in landscape rather than portrait. I’ve verified that the OCR fails on those pages.
  3. Lots of readability/usability issues: The table of contents is partially obscured in one copy and the tables are often blurred or faint. also, HT is using a process of OCR now where you can search but not copy or paste.
  4. Lastly, I find it … uh… interesting that this book says here “Copyright: Public Domain, Google-digitized.” But, if you want to download the whole book, you have to be an HT partner.

Does this digitized version increase access to this important historic material? Yes, indeed, it does. But I’m rather glad to have a bibliographic record in my catalog that links to the the digital version AND points to the paper copy in our collection.


US Census of population and housing now online 1790 – 2000

Yes it’s census season again. And to mark the coming of the 2010 census, The US Census Bureau has digitalized all the decennial censuses in pdf from 1790 through 2000. Check out how your city/town/state/district has changed over the 210 years of the census. Census geeks might also want to check out this handy guide to the census called Measuring America: The Decennial Censuses From 1790 to 2000 where one can read the actual questionnaires for each census and get background history on each census. Oh and don’t forget American Factfinder, the Census’s database for the 1990 and 2000 census, American Community Survey, Economic Census, and annual economic surveys. Factfinder includes quick facts, mapping tools and more.

Happy data hunting!

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