Government Docs

NARA Seeks to Speed Processing of Presidential Records

Secrecy News reports that the National Archives is exploring new methods to accelerate the disclosure of records at Presidential libraries.

Archivists "decided to undertake an in-house study in the spring of 2007 to review ways to achieve faster processing of Presidential records," stated Emily Robison, acting director of the Clinton Presidential Library, in an October 2 declaration that was filed in a lawsuit brought against NARA by Judicial Watch.

Is your search engine finding the government information you need?

Freegov pointed the way to an OMB Watch report [PDF] that highlights "a critical gap in online access to vital government information." In an examination of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Live and Ask and the search function provided by USA.gov, they confirmed that many of these searches miss critical information simply because of the manner in which the government agency has published the information.
For example:
• A search for “New York radiation” does not find basic FEMA and DHS information about
current conditions and monitoring.
• A search to help grandparents with a question about visitation of their grandchildren in any
search engine does not turn up an article of the same title located on the Web site of the
Administration for Children & Families.

They have several recommendations for the federal government. Each of these would encourage
greater accessibility of government information by making it more searchable.

One Stop Shopping for State History Materials

The 50-State Agency Databases Registry, which I coordinate, has launched a new set of subject-focused database collections under the heading of history:

* Biographical Databases - Databases that provide biographical sketches of authors, state officials, famous state residents, etc.
http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Biographical_Databases

* Historical Media Databases - Databases that provide online access to photographs, video, or audio.
http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Historical_Media_Databases

* Historical Newspaper and Magazine Indexes - Databases that index articles in older newspapers, journals and magazine that contain historical information. These databases will usually lead one to microfilmed items that may be obtainable through Interlibrary Loan.
http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Historical_Newspaper_and_Magazine -- Read More

Lewisville warehouse is new site for Bush records

Millions of records, photos and artifacts tracing the presidency of George W. Bush will move from the White House to a white North Texas warehouse by early 2009 under a recently awarded government contract.

"It is expected that the collection will be greater than the Clinton holdings, which consist of over 30,000 cubic feet of textual and non-textual holdings," National Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper said by e-mail Wednesday. "The electronic component will also be greater than the Clinton administration holdings."

Book Review: Battleground Iraq (Army Pub)

Last night I finished the book:

Battleground Iraq : journal of a company commander by Todd S Brown; United States. Dept. of the Army.

This book isn't available online, but you can find it in many Federal Depository Libraries under the SuDoc number D 114.2:IR1. You can also purchase it from the GPO Bookstore. If you work in a library that has a significant number of high school students, I highly recommend this book. The author, Major Todd Brown, has done a great job logging his experiences as a company commander in Iraq from April 2003 to March 2004. Although it is published by the Army's Center of Military Studies, it is not a cheerleaders guide to our glorious victory. Neither is it the journal of someone who has turned against the concept of war. After reading the book I agree with the editor's assessment: -- Read More

50-State subject database guides - what next?

Recently, the 50-State Agency Database Registry produced an annotated list of searchable inmate locaters. Many states have databases on many given subjects, so the volunteer staff of the Database Register is interested in expanding the offerings on our subject-focused databases page.

We (the Registry volunteers) would like to do this with subjects of interest to the community. So tell us what we should do next, either by leaving comments here or by participating in a brief poll on the main page of the State Agency Database Highlights blog at http://statedatabase.blogspot.com.

For databases from the 50 states, please see the 50-State Agency Database Registry

Draconian rules on archives use cast a chill on researchers

British Columbia researchers who want to work with "sensitive" archival records -- including writers, journalists and university professors -- must now agree to random security checks of personal computers, offices and even their homes by the government.

Records Management: Our invisible profession

Revelation of the loss of unencrypted personal data for over 25 million Britons, half of the country's population, from today's NYT.

Steve Bailey Writes A Bit About records managers:

In a story regarding just about the biggest and potentially most significant ever failure of records management in the UK the records management profession does not get a single mention, not one, neither as villain nor potential saviour; and that has to be a worry. Is our profile really that low? Is the true extent of our professional remit really that narrow and the impact of our actions really that negligible?

Why New Laws Are Needed to Stop the Bullying of the National Archives

Maarja Krusten Says Even a President who believes that he governed honorably may struggle with his past. Governance is complex and politics messy. Laws demand disclosure of what really happened. Judges, such as the one who recently ruled on President Bush's order, assume that the National Archives can carry out this mission. But because some disclosures can be painful for presidents, they resort to bullying to halt them.

The National Archives Joins Geospatial One Stop’s (GOS) web portal

The Resource Shelf Notes The National Archives has joined Geospatial One Stop’s (GOS) web portal. Select National Archives holdings are now searchable from the GOS Historical Collections Channel, which the National Archives and the Library of Congress jointly manage.

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