Rare and Endangered Government Publications: Capturing the Moment

Aimée C. Quinn, Shari Laster


What are rare and endangered government publications? In short, they are the materials representing that which is valued most in our collections. Each depository library collects documents that are important to its community: some arrive through a depository program, some come through direct solicitation from agencies, some come through traditional means of acquisition, and some come through emerging models of building digital collections. Managing these resources to ensure their availability for long-term access is a critical part of government documents librarianship. Put another way, rare and endangered government publications are the pieces of the public output of government that are most likely to go missing.

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The National Parks Service put together a handy factsheet in their Conserv-O-Gram series entitled “What Makes a Book Rare?” (www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/19-01.pdf).

Oversight Hearing on the Problem of “Brittle Books” in Our Nation’s Libraries: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the Committee of Education and Labor, House of Representatives, March 3, 1987, 100th Cong., 1st Sess. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED287508.pdf.

Commission on Preservation and Access, “Preserving the Literary Heritage: The Final Report of the Scholarly Advisory Committee on Modern Language and Literature of the Commission on Preservation and Access,” J. Hillis Miller (Washington, DC: The Commission, 1991). http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED336124.pdf.

Government Documents Round Table, “A History of the Government Documents Round Table,” Lois Mills, Larry Romans and Sandy Peterson (Bethesda, MD: Congressional Information Service, 2002), 30, www.ala.org/godort/sites/ala.org.godort/files/content/godortcrted/GODORT_history_final.pdf.

“GODORT Policies & Procedures Manual,” Chapter 25, revised August 2014, http://wikis.ala.org/godort/images/f/f6/Chapter25_REGP.pdf.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/dttp.v44i1.6059


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