Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The "GovInfo"

The first library we visited was the Government and Geographic Information and Data Services Department. As long as the name may sound, this library, out of the several numbers of libraries at the university, contained numerous resources. Known in short as GovInfo, this library was established in 1876, but contains materials dating to time periods as far back as the 1700s, making it one of the oldest and largest U.S. government document depositories in the nation. It is open to both the Northwestern community and the general public, even though its circulation policies may be relatively stringent.

The resources GovInfo provides for its users encompass a fairly wide range. The library primarily stores government documents such as congressional reports, presidential papers, demographic and financial reports from the federal, state, and local governments. Documents and papers from international organizations like the United Nations and the European Union also are included in the collection. The library also has a vast collection of maps of all types. Some include navigational charts dating as far back as the 1600s. In complement to the collection of maps, the department has also devised what they call the Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The GIS is commonly used to analyze general trends in landscape and demographics over the course of history. Lastly, the Social Science Data Services (SSDS) is a function that supports research by providing primary resources for secondary analysis.

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Jessica said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again. I loved the maps. I think old artifacts are so interesting, especially when they are so well preserved. It's pretty amazing what hard work combined with technology can do.

Liz said...
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Liz said...

What sticks out in my mind from this library are all of the wartime materials about hygiene and venerial disease... it's interesting to see how this type of public outreach has changed over the years! All of the court documents were really interesting too, and I can see how looking back on how these cases were deliberated could be useful for research. The government and politics aren't strong subjects of mine, but seeing all of these materials definately sparked my interests a bit.

Anonymous said...

The collection of books from the government looked interesting, especially the one the librarian passed around about disaster relief. The map collection sounds very developed and would be interesting to check out online, especially with the new computer technology the library developed.

mercedez091 said...

I really enjoyed this collection. Especially the posters and small books that were just out side the room with all the cabinets. I thought the collection was very interesting. I like the books about how to survive a disaster and the one about finding aliens in the desert. I enjoyed this collection.