Monday, November 10, 2014

Free Election Data

According to Library Journal and also Data Driven Journalism, Derek Willis, New York Times interactive news developer, and Sedar Tumgoren, Washington Post news apps developer, have created a free comprehensive database of past U.S. election results with the approval but not sponsorship of their employers. Supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's News Challenge, OpenElections aims to "create the first free, comprehensive, standardized, linked set of election data for the United States, including federal and statewide offices."

Monday, September 22, 2014

Warren Commission Report Available Online

Notice from the Government Printing Office (GPO):

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Commission Report, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) makes the complete report and 26 hearing volumes available on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). The Commission was created by President Lyndon Johnson and chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate President Kennedy's assassination. GPO worked with Boston Public Library to digitize the 26 hearing volumes after digitizing the Warren Commission Report last year. Now the complete, official Warren Commission Report and hearing volumes are digitally available through GPO.


  • For link to complete Warren Commission Report, click here 
  • For link to historic video of GPO’s production of the Warren Commission Report, click here


  • GPO produced the Warren Commission Report and 26 hearing volumes in 1964. Altogether, GPO's work for the Commission resulted in nearly 235,000 copies of the report and nearly 5,600 sets of the hearings. All of these materials were made available to the public through distribution to Federal depository libraries nationwide and sales via GPO's bookstores.

    “GPO is committed to digitization efforts and providing future generations of Americans with digital access to historical content,” Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. “I thank Boston Public Library for collaborating with GPO to digitize the hearing volumes. This digitization effort reflects GPO’s digital transformation from printing the report 50 years ago to making digitally available today.”

    The post President Kennedy assassination audio tape recordings of conversations between various individuals in Washington, DC and Air Force One pilots and officials on board during the flight from Dallas to Andrews Air Force Base are also available on FDsys.


  • For link to post assassination audio tape recordings, click here.
  • Friday, September 19, 2014

    Affordable Care Act Legislation

    On Sept. 12, 2014 the Congressional Research Service released Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act (PDF link) by C. Stephen Redhead and Janet Kinzer. Three appendices summarize legislative actions to repeal, defund, delay, or otherwise amend the ACA law's enactment:

    • Table A-1 in Appendix A - "summarizes the authorizing legislation to amend the ACA that has been approved by both chambers and enacted into law."
    • Table B-1 in Appendix B - "summarizes the ACA provisions in authorizing legislation that passed the House in the 112th Congress (2011-2012) but was not approved by the Senate. It also lists the ACA-related legislation that the House has passed to date in the 113th Congress (2013-2014), but which has not been taken up by the Senate."
    • Table C-1 in Appendix C  - "summarizes the ACA-related provisions in enacted annual appropriations acts for each of FY2011 through FY2014."
    The report also contains background information on the core provisions of the ACA and an overview of the law's impact on federal spending.



    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Journalists Killed Worldwide since 1992

    The Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ)  maintains a database listing journalists killed worldwide since 1992.  Deaths are classified as "motive confirmed" if there is reasonable certainty the journalist was murdered in direct reprisal for his or her work, or killed in crossfire during combat, or killed while carrying out a dangerous assignment. If the motive is unclear, the case is labeled "unconfirmed" and investigation continues.

    CPJ is an "an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal."

    Tuesday, September 09, 2014

    Microfilm and Microfiche Cabinets Available for Free



    Rice University’s Fondren Library is giving away a number of used bookshelves and microfilm and microfiche cabinets on a first come, first served basis. Institutions that take these free cabinets and/or shelves are responsible for moving, disassembling (if necessary), loading and transporting them. Cabinets and shelves must be picked up by the end of September and are provided as is.


    Microfilm cabinets available (good condition):

    10-12 Russ Bassett Gemtrac high density cabinets.
    Tan. 90"H x 30W.
    (Note: typically these are installed in pairs)
    19 Russ Bassett Lower Vertical Cabinets.
    11 drawers with five rows.
    Dark Gray. 57.5”H x 23.75W 
    9 JB Lower Vertical Cabinets.
    12 Drawers with five rows.
    Gray. 57.5"H x 23.75W 
    2 Watson Lower Vertical Cabinets.
    11 drawers with five rows.
    Dark Gray. 57.5”H x 23.75W 
    4 Russ Bassett Upper Overflow Drawers.
    5 Drawers with Six Rows.
    Dark Gray. 34"H x 25W 
    18 JB Upper Overflow Drawers.
    5 Drawers with 6 Rows.
    Gray. 31.75"H x 23.75W 


    Microfilm/ microfiche cabinets available (fair to poor condition):

    We also are making available a number of microfilm and microfiche cabinets that are in fair to poor condition (e.g. stained with ink, scuffed up exteriors, mismatched drawers, loose handles, etc):
    Recordak Microfilm Cabinet
    • 1 JB Overflow Upper Microfilm Drawers. 31.75"H x 23.75W
    • 3 Recordak Microfilm Cabinet (10 drawers/5 rows). 32.75"H x 23.5W
    • 5 Russ Bassett Overflow Upper Microfilm Drawers . 34"H x 25W
    • 29 Watson Overflow Upper Microfilm Drawers. 52"H x 23.5"W
    • 23 Watson Lower Microfilm Cabinets (11 Drawers/5 Rows). 57.5"H x 23.75W
    • 2 Microfiche Cabinets (no manufacturers’ label) 9 Drawers/2 Rows. 18.25H x 57.25W
    • 4 Microfiche Cabinets ((no manufacturers’ label) 7 Drawers/2 Rows. 18.25H x 51.5W
    • 3 General Firing Proof Company Microfiche Cabinets. 9 Drawers/2 Rows. 13"H x 41.75W



    Bookshelves available (good condition):


    95 Aetnastack double-facing shelving units. 84" H x 36" W x 16.5" D
    13 double-facing gray shelving units. 36" H x 37.5" W x 12" D






    Contact information: 
    If you are interested in any of these cabinets or shelves, please contact:

    Lisa Spiro, Executive Director of Digital Scholarship Services
    lspiro@rice.edu
    713-348-2480

    Feel free to spread the word about the availability of the cabinets and shelves.

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

    Online Access to Archives of Five Courts Discontinued

    Due to changes in technology, online access to records of five courts through the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system has been discontinued. A notice on the PACER webpage states the locally developed legacy case management systems in the five courts listed below are now incompatible with the new PACER Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system;
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit - Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit - Cases filed prior to January 1, 2008
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit - Cases filed prior to January 1, 2010
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit - Cases filed prior to March 1, 2012
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California - Cases filed prior to May 1, 2001
    A note says to contact the court directly to obtain copies of documents and dockets in the above cases. Contact information for each court is available on the Court Locator page.

    A Washington Post blog article contains statements from Charles Hall, a spokesperson for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and Brian Carver, an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Information and co-founder of the nonprofit Free Law Project. The project along with Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy maintains RECAP, a crowd-sourced platform hosting free archives of documents obtained through the paid PACER system.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    New Copyright Publication

    The U.S. Copyright Office has made available for viewing a public draft of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, Third Edition, the first major revision in more than two decades. According to the announcement,
    the draft presents more than 1200 pages of administrative practices and sets the stage for a number of long-term improvements in registration and recordation policy. It will remain in draft form for 120 days pending final review and implementation, taking effect on or around December 15, 2014.
    More information and a link to download the draft is available at http://copyright.gov/comp3/.

    For previous editions see The Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices, First Edition (1973) and Second Edition (1984).