RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Are you aware of U.S. Government Documents?

I got a comment from a reader that tipped me off on a whole area of research I had pushed to the back of my mind for many years.

The United States Government creates a huge number of government documents every year. When I was working in the University of Utah Library, I learned about the Federal Depository Library Program of the U.S. Government Printing Office. Quoting from the website:
The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is the Federal Government’s official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats. GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through our Federal Digital System (www.fdsys.gov), partnerships with approximately 1,200 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program, and our secure online bookstore.
Just when you think you have a handle on genealogically productive source documents, you learn about a whole new area of research that you may never have used or considered. If you look at the list of types of documents above, you will see some key words such as passports and documents for Federal agencies. Access to the GPO documents is free in participating libraries. Here is a description of the types of documents archived by the libraries:
What can I find at a Federal Depository Library?
  • Information on topics such as health, business, careers, the military, science, technology, travel, nutrition, and more 
  • Books, maps, microfiche, journals, periodicals, and more
  • Historical publications dating back to the early days of the republic
  • Expert reference assistance from Government information librarians
  • Access to online Government information resources
  • A network of librarians to facilitate access to materials located at other libraries
Depositories also provide online access to Government information. GPO online services are offered to help users of all ages find Federal information, and depository librarians provide expert assistance in using these online services.
 The Government Printing Office has an online catalog of publications. Here is a partial list of a search on the term "genealogy."

Guide to tracing your American Indian ancestry [electronic resource]. 2011 http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo26239

Black family research : records of post-Civil War federal agencies at the National Archives /  2010
United States.National Archives and Records Administration.

Family history sources /  2010
United States.National Archives and Records Administration.Southeast Region.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) [electronic resource].
2009 http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo10163

Research in the land entry files of the General Land Office : Record Group 49 /
2009 United States.National Archives and Records Administration.

Using civilian records for genealogical research in the National Archives Washington, DC, area /
2009 United States.National Archives and Records Administration.

Family history sources. 2008
United States.National Archives and Records Administration.Southeast Region.

Family history sources [electronic resource]. 2008
United States.National Archives and Records Administration.Southeast Region.

Historic trail map of the La Junta 1⁰ x 2⁰ quadrangle, southeastern Colorado and western Kansas /
2008 Scott, Glenn Robert,

Historic trail map of the La Junta 1⁰ x 2⁰ quadrangle, southeastern Colorado and western Kansas [electronic resource] / 2008
Scott, Glenn Robert, http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS126676

You might just find something interesting or helpful just with this pretty simple search. There never seems to a be an end to the stream of documents and sources, does there? I guess it will keep me busy for a the rest of my life. 

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