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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.

A Roundup of Recent Government Info News and New Resources

Time once again for a selection of news and new resources that we hope will be an interest to the FGI community. The following posts are from INFOdocket.com (@infofodocket) where we compile and post new items daily. The oldest item in this roundup was posted on January 26, 2012.

1. President Requests $231,953,777 for Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

2. MEDLINE/PubMed: List of Serials Indexed for Online Users, 2012 Now Available in XML

3. South Dakota: State Archives Going Digital

4. Recently Launched iOS App: United Nations News Reader from the UN News Centre

5. Full Text of Prepared Testimony: Librarian of Congress, Public Printer, & Others Testify at House Appropriations Committee Hearing (re: FY 2013 Budget)

6. Montana: “New State Librarian Leads Digitization”

7. Government Information: A New Issue of the FDLP Connection Newsletter is Now Online (Vol. 2, Issue 2)

8. New Reference Resource: PACrimeStats.Info (Pennsylvania Crime Data)

9. EPA Releases New Interactive Tool with Information About Water Pollution Across the U.S.

10. FEMA Grant Helps Restore New Orleans’ Katrina-Damaged Archives

11. Listen Online: National Park Service Releases Historic Audio Recordings Made by Thomas Edison’s Recording Engineer

12. New Feature: The World Factbook Now Allows Users to Listen to the National Anthems of Most Countries

13. U.S. Congress: THOMAS Adds Direct Links to House Committee Hearings

14. New Document from NIH: Public Access Policy Implications

15. New Database: See Who’s Donating to Super PACs

16. LOCPix: New iOS App Provides Access to Digitized Photos from the Library of Congress

17. New Interactive Reference Resource: State Transportation Facts and Figures

18. U.S. Congress: Financial Contributions: MapLight Launches New Company Pages

19. Let’s Fly! FAA Launches Mobile Web App

20. New Search Tool from the IRS: Exempt Organizations Select Check

New Database: UN Office on Drugs and Crime and World Bank Group Launch New Anti-Corruption Legal Library With Legislation From

From INFOdocket:

The UNCAC Legal Library is a comprehensive database of anti-corruption and asset recovery legislation and jurisprudence from over 175 States, systematized in accordance with the requirements of the Convention. The Legal Library, which will be regularly updated, identifies laws that have been successfully used to recover assets as well as barriers to asset recovery caused by inadequate or incompatible legal frameworks. This practical and user-friendly resource will aid countries as they design and improve their legal frameworks so that these are more conducive to the recovery of stolen assets.

Finally, you’ll find a link to background about the new TRACK (Tools and Resources for Anti-Corruption Knowledge) portal also from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Transboundary issues are needful things

There is an obvious transboundary need for free flowing, current foreign / international government information. This transboundary need reflects the nature of our most critical 21st Century challenges — climate change, crime, trade, labour rights, poverty, hunger, etc. — they know few hard geo-political boundaries.

So how can we know what’s going on in our extended community of nations, better known as the Western Hemisphere?

Supra national sources of information like the United Nations and it’s subsidiary regional commission ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) do what some of our finest U.S. government agency publications do — they track the statistical universe of nations.

One of my favorite sources of free flowing, current foreign / international government information is UNPULSE, “Connecting to UN Information” (A Service of the UN Library).

UNPULSE links to the 2008 edition of the ECLAC’s Statistical Yearbook for Latin America and the Caribbean, “… one of the main sources of statistical information of the region.”

The full text of the report, published in English and Spanish, is divided into four chapters: “(1) Demographic and social areas, with special attention to gender; (2) Economical statistics such as prices, international trade, balance of payments and national accounts; (3) Information on natural resources and the environment; and, (4) Methodological aspects and other data on sources, definitions and coverage of the statistics cited.”

About ECLAC: “ECLAC is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. It was founded with the purpose of contributing to the economic development of Latin America, coordinating actions directed towards this end, and reinforcing economic ties among countries and with other nations of the world. The promotion of the region’s social development was later included among its primary objectives…”

~ Free government information flowing south to north.

Animated Universal Declaration of Human Rights

As you know, December 10 is Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Well check out this beautifully animated (although not word-for-word accurate) version created by the Human Rights Action Center to celebrate 2008 as the 60th anniversary of the UDHR. That music will stick with you for a while too!



[Thanks BoingBoing!]

Nuclear vault: 40th anniversary of Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

On 1 July 1968, the United States, the United Kingdom, the former Soviet Union, and over 50 other countries signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), one of the most significant multilateral arms control achievements of the nuclear age. Today, 187 countries have joined the treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is entrusted with the key role as the international safeguards inspectorate.

To commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the signing of the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the National Security Archive has opened up the nuclear vault and published their briefing book, “The Impulse towards a Safer World”, a thorough and intriguing history of “one of the most significant multilateral arms control achievements of the nuclear age” along with declassified U.S. government documents on the process of negotiations. The documents highlight…

…the dialogue between and among U.S. officials (negotiators, diplomats, and policymakers) and representatives of Asian-Pacific, European, and Latin American governments, these documents highlight the range of problems that made the U.S., the Soviet Union, and other governments want to negotiate an NPT, but also which it so difficult to negotiate and to win unanimous adherence to the nonproliferation system.

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