New, Notable, and Fun: Recent Finds from GPO and LOC

Government websites can be a boon of (free!) information for legal research. For today’s post, I thought I’d highlight a few news items and a few fun finds from the Library of Congress and the GPO.

New: GPO Director

Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Hugh Halpern as the new Director of the Government Publishing Office. Halpern has held a variety of positions on Capitol Hill over the past 30 years, including Director of Floor Operations for the Speaker of the House. You can read more about Halpern in the GPO’s press release.

Congress.gov Enhancements

In November, Congress.gov added two new enhancements: First, for Senate amendments to bills, you can now see a list of any withdrawn co-sponsors. Second, in an effort to increase accessibility, Congress.gov has made improvements to their search results to make them easier to read for screen readers. You can see all the latest Congress.gov enhancements here.

Notable: CRS Reports on Congress.gov

We reported on this feature in September 2018, but in case you missed it, you can now access a large collection of Congressional Research Service reports through Congress.gov ( https://crsreports.congress.gov/). My favorite way to access the CRS reports on this site is to hit the search button without entering any search terms. This brings you to the index of CRS reports, so you can see the variety of subjects covered. Did you know the Law Library of Congress also creates research reports for Congress? You can access their reports as well, from the Law Library of Congress website.

Just for Fun: Library of Congress’ Free to Use and Reuse Collection

The Library of Congress has digitized large numbers of items in their collections, and have created a Free to Use and Reuse page, where you can browse these digitizations by category. Some collections, such as Veterans, Presidential Inaugurations, or Women’s History Month, might be more relevant to law libraries; myself, I’m partial to the Dogs collection (don’t worry – there’s a Cats one too). Perhaps the best collection here is the Not an Ostrich collection, named after this photo:

“Not an Ostrich” – https://www.loc.gov/resource/ppmsca.40935/

These are just a few of the new and notable finds from the GPO and the Library of Congress. Do you have your own favorite features? Please share!

GPO and Law Library of Congress to Digitize the Serial Set

The GPO and the Law Library of Congress announced plans last week to digitize the Congressional Serial Set going back to the first volume from 1817. The digitization will take place through the Law Library of Congress and the GPO will store the files and upload them onto Govinfo for free public access. The project is expected to take at least a decade to complete. This digitization effort follows on the heels of HeinOnline, which began digitizing the serial set several years ago and made the first phase of its digitization available in October 2018. Hein’s digitization has been made available for free to HeinOnline Academic subscribers, Core+ subscribers, and subscribers of HeinOnline’s U.S. Congressional Documents.

GPO Launches New GPO.gov Website

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is launching a newly designed, user-friendly agency website.

Here is the ANNOUNCEMENT

Take a look and submit feedback through the surveymonkey link on the announcement.