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Ruggles report on preservation and use of economic data liberated!

A few weeks back, we posted a story about an Atlantic article from November, 1967 called, “The National Data Center and Personal Privacy” in which was discussed the idea of a National Data Center, the precursor to Total Information Awareness. It was such a hot topic of the day that Congress held a hearing on computers and the invasion of privacy of US citizens (The computer and invasion of privacy. Hearings, Eighty-ninth Congress, second session. July 26, 27, and 28, 1966. by United States. Congress. House. Committee on Government Operations. Special Subcommittee on Invasion of Privacy.)

I started reading the hearing, and found that Yale Economics Professor Richard Ruggles (NYT obituary from 2001) had also testified before that hearing. So I started poking around about Ruggles, looking in WorldCat and Google Scholar. I found quite a few citations to a document entitled, Report of the Committee on the Preservation and Use of Economic Data submitted to the Social Science Research Council in 1965.

But for such a well-cited document that spawned a Congressional hearing and much worry in the mainstream press about computers and privacy, there were only 3 libraries in the whole country that held the report. Imagine that!

Well, I decided to liberate the report, so — after much finagling! — got a copy, scanned it, and uploaded it to the Internet Archive. Score one for the digital public domain!!

I hope to see more libraries listed as having a copy in WorldCat in the near future. And if you’ve got any fugitive documents laying around your hard drive, send them to us here at admin AT freegovinfo DOT info. We’ll make sure they get up on the open Web safe and secure in the Internet Archive!!