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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.

Ode to Govdoc-L

I was cleaning my condo today and ran across a “government documents jounral” that I turned in as an assignment in grad school back in 1995. Part of what I did for this assignment was to subscribe to Govdoc-l, the documents librarians’ electronic mailing list. I had to report my impressions. The three things I cited 13 years ago were:

  1. Govdoc-L is practical.
  2. Govdoc’rs are helpful
  3. Govdoc-l is informative

I expanded on these ideas in my paper and then concluded with:

“In light of the three characteristics outlined above, I feel that it is extremely important for any documents librarian who has access to the internet to subscribe to this list!”

Aside from not being able to conceive a documents librarian without internet access in 2008, I think this advice is just as true today as it was 13 years ago!

These days govdoc-l has an RSS feed, so now there is even less excuse NOT to follow this important government information resource.

Virtual Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

If you wish to pay your respects but cannot travel to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in D.C., can now do so from your computer. NARA and Footnote.com have released a searchable digital replica of the Memorial Wall.

The site also allows you to “leave a tribute, a story or photograph about any of the 58,256 veterans killed or missing in the Vietnam War”.

Word of warning, the site claims that due to recent high traffic, you might experience slow loading pages or images. They are working to improve this.

Visit AHA online!

The Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA) began on January 3 in Washington DC and Rick Shenkman, the editor of the History News Network, is posting his "reporter’s notebook" online with video excerpts of talks and panels.

There are some really interesting and fun things to listen to here! For a sample, start by listening to Congresswoman Pat Schroeder on Day 2 recounting "the sorry history she experienced in the House as one of a handful of congresswomen."

Germany agrees to open Holocaust records for use by historians, survivors

Germany has agreed to work with the United States to open records on 17 million Jews and other victims of the Nazis and allow historians and survivors access to some 30 million to 50 million documents.

Read more on this article.