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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.

History, People & Culture at State Agency Databases Project

This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is History, People & Culture, featuring 49 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:



Alabama 1867 Voter Registration Database – Search the 131 volumes of the 1867 Voter Registration Records, which was one of the first statewide government documents that record African-American males living in Alabama. Search by name, race, county, or comments.



Death Notices of Members of Fraternal Orders – Database includes over 50,000 individuals for whom a notice of death was published in the proceedings of a fraternal order. Fraternal orders included and dates of coverage are: Ancient Order of United Workmen, 1879-1908; Knights of Pythias, 1877-1918; Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 1873-1970; Rebekah Assembly of the IOOF, 1891-1953



Wyoming Newspapers – Wyoming State Library – Available through this website are newspapers printed in Wyoming beginning with the 1849 Chugg Water Journal, in an easily searchable format. Browse or search the more than 900,000 newspaper pages converted from microfilm to a digital format. All text is searchable, including news articles, news briefs, obituaries and other items of interest.


For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/historydbs. If you know of state agency produced databases in this area, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.

State Agency Databases Project Activity Report 12/14/2014

With the quarterly link check underway, we’ve seen significant changes to the following pages at the State Agency Databases Project athttp://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases over the past two weeks.  (links are to revisions page, click on “page” tab to see regular page):

You can always view ALL changes made in the past seven days by visiting http://tinyurl.com/statedbs.

As a reminder, all of the links and text in the State Agency Databases Project is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. We strongly encourage the use of our links and annotations in projects of your own.

State Agency Databases Activity Report 9/21/2014

Hi All,

It’s been a long time since I’ve provided an update on activity at the State Agency Databases Project at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases.

I thought I’d experiment with a new format for this report. Feel free to give me feedback on this or the previous format.

You can always check on changes in the past seven days by visiting http://tinyurl.com/statedbs.  This past week saw significant changes to the following pages (links are to revisions page, click on “page” tab to see regular page):

As a reminder, all of the links and text in the State Agency Databases Project is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. We strongly encourage the use of our links and annotations in projects of your own.

#nlw14 FDLP Edition Day 2: Johnson County Library

Today our Federal Depository Library themed celebration of National Library Week focuses on the 2010 winner of the Government Printing Office’s Library of the Year Award. Here’s the citation from the award page:

Johnson County Library Named 2010 Federal Depository Library of the Year

The Johnson County Library of Overland Park, Kansas was named the 2010 Federal Depository Library of the Year at the Fall Federal Depository Library Conference and Depository Library Council meeting in Arlington, Virginia. Public Printer Robert C. Tapella presented the award to Donna Lauffer, County Librarian, on behalf of the U.S. Government Printing Office and the Federal Depository Library Program.

“I congratulate Johnson County Library for their efforts in making Government information open and transparent to the public,” said Public Printer Bob Tapella. “Federal depository libraries are an important component of the open Government process, linking the American people with Government information.”

GPO selected Johnson County Library, a Federal depository library since 1979, for its excellent customer service and ongoing commitment to open Government. The library has implemented many initiatives in order to better provide the public with access to Federal Government information. Through its annual GovFest event, Johnson County Library connects Government agency representatives and business owners to create and expand economic opportunities. The library is also an active participant in GovDocs Kids Group, a national group of Government document librarians that provide Government information and resources to K-12 students, teachers and librarians. Additionally, during the 2009 tax season, the Johnson County Library’s Government information Web pages and Tax Tips blog assisted over 5,000 people with federal tax-related issues.

“The Johnson County Library is honored to be awarded Library of the Year by the GPO,” said County Librarian Donna Lauffer. “We find that Government documents are a valuable tool for the public in that they are free and reliable information. The public views all forms of Government as one and the same. Our library works to raise the public’s awareness by being relevant to their everyday information needs. Raising awareness of the importance of an open Government moves everyone forward in these difficult economic times.”





Note: No award was given in 2011.
Do you have a story about the Johnson County Library? Please share in comments!

State Agency Databases Activity Report March 30, 1014

It was a busy week for the volunteers at the State Agency Databases Project at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases.


In the past week, Mississippi was adopted by Aimee Slater of Brooklyn College and Virginia was adopted by Louise Buckley of University of New Hampshire.

In the past we have had requests for pages on US Territories and sub-state jurisdictions in the project. If you would like to start a page for such a government, let’s talk.


Today’s featured database is from Marilyn Von Seggern who maintains the Washington page:

Washington Information System for Architectural and Archaeological Records Data (WISAARD)   http://www.dahp.wa.gov/learn-and-research/find-a-historic-place

WISAARD is a searchable GIS map tool and database of over 1800 registered historical sites and over 300,000 inventoried sites including images, a summary of the significance, and a link to the nomination document. Simple or advanced searches may be initiated via map or by text query for historic name, address, city, county, architectural style, built date, historic use, architect, and listing status. Information on archaeological sites is limited to prevent vandalism.

The database, funded with a grant from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, won the 2010 Intergovernmental Solutions Award from the American Council for Technology.

For example, one can view the Fort Columbia Barracks in Ilwaco, WA, view a photo of the building which was built in Queen Anne style in 1903, and view the Historic Property Inventory Report.



See the full story of the last week’s changes by visiting http://tinyurl.com/statedbs. Below are some highlights of the week.





KANSAS (Pam Crawford)

Lesson Plans and Other Resources – This Kansas Educational Resource Center site offers resource-type, topic and/or grade-level searching.

KENTUCKY (Glen McAninch)

KRS search – Keyword search of Kentucky revised statutes.

VIRGINIA (Louise Buckley)

License Lookup & Disciplinary Actions – This resource allows users to check the license status and complaint history of contractors; real estate individuals, businesses, and schools; cosmetologists; home inspectors; geologists; polygraph examiners; and more. The database is searchable by name, zip code, or license/certificate number, with the option to limit by area(s) of practice. There is also a separate keyword search for disciplinary actions occurring on or after April 1, 2002 for those records appearing in License Lookup.



WISCONSIN (Mark Rozmarynowski)

Find a State Park, Forest or Trail – interactive map with annotations and links to specific park websites with maps, directions, current conditions and upcoming events. is a table listing parks and their facilities and amenities so that you can easily see which parks best suit your recreational needs. Former URL – http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/findapark.html