Vol. 12, No. 1
Government Documents at Indiana University, Bloomington
by Andrea Morrison
The Government Publications Department is responsible for assisting patrons of the Bloomington campus libraries in locating official publications of United States, international intergovernmental organizations, foreign countries, state, interstate and municipal agencies. Access to the current collection is through Indiana University's online catalog, IUCAT. Older materials are accessed through a Subject/Title card catalog in the Department, and through indexes. Some older documents are located in the Research collections. Publications on the following subjects are not actively sought by the Department: literature, art, music, anthropology, linguistics, archaeology, and the physical and life sciences. Government publications in these areas are cataloged for the Research Collections or a branch library after processing by the Government Publications Department. Non-Roman alphabet material is housed in the Department only if it is bilingual with a Roman alphabet language. Formats collected include monographs, serials, multi- media, microforms, and electronic indexes and texts on disk or CD-ROM.
Full access to electronic government information, on the internet, www, gopher, CD-ROMS, etc., is available at the Department's computer cluster near our reference desk. The Government Publications Department has a Local Area Network installed on the computer cluster, providing a variety of documents indexes and databases. CDs not loaded on the LAN can be installed for patron use. The Department's WWW site introduces the Department and links to important government information sites. Patrons are encouraged to bring a 3.5 diskette(s) when they plan to use government publications in electronic format, because not all such data can be printed.
A new initiative called SCRIPT (Social Sciences Research Information Pathway) involves collaboration between the Government Publications Department and the Political Science Data Laboratory and Archive to handle metadata and datafiles, and to make this information available through the web interface. Although currently in the beginning stages of implementation, SCRIPT will function as part of a "virtual" library. In the collaboration described, each department will provide computers, software, data, and staff support for social science and statistical research
The Department is a U.S. federal depository at about 88% of depository items. Indexes to these materials are available through the Government Publications selection on Infogate, the Indiana University Libraries' LAN, and are restricted to Main Library building use. These indexes include the GDCS (Government Documents Catalog Subscription) (AutoGraphics), which is a trade edition of the Monthly Catalog from 1976-current; Congressional Masterfile (CIS); Government Periodicals Index (CIS); and Statistical Masterfile (CIS), which includes the American Statistics Index (ASI) of federal statistical documents, and Statistical Reference Index (SRI) of state and non-governmental statistical documents, and International Index of Statistics (IIS) of international statistical documents. The Department purchases the microfiche for SRI and the non-depository microfiche for ASI, but does not purchase the microfiche for IIS.
U.S. monographic documents have been cataloged for IUCAT, Indiana University's online catalog, since 1992. At that time, the records for U.S. federal document monographs from 1976-1992 were purchased from MARCIVE and tape-loaded into IUCAT. These have a location of BG, Bloomington Government Publications Dept., and are not linked on an item level. Since then, cataloging is completed by exporting records from OCLC. All current monographic receipts, except ephemeral material, are now cataloged for IUCAT. Retrospective conversion of monographs has begun on a limited scale, with planning for a broader effort in the future. Some serials have been cataloged online, but most of them are not yet in IUCAT.
The Department is also a United Nations depository, a European Union depository, and collects publications at a research level from the following agencies: Council of Europe, Food and Agriculture Organization, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank, International Labour Organization, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, UNESCO, Western European Union, World Health Organization, and World Trade Organization (formerly General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). The emphasis of the collection is in the social sciences, education, public and environmental science, business and economics. English is the primary language collected, but other Western languages are also collected. Non- official publications that describe the agencies or provide access to their documents are acquired by the Department as reference materials.
Major indexes that help provide access to the international documents collection, and are available on CD-ROM only within the Department, are Eurocat, the Readex Index to United Nations Documents and Publications, UNBIS Plus on CD-ROM, and UNESCO Index.
The foreign collection contains documents published by national governments of most countries of the world. Most attention is focused on the executive and legislative branches of the governments. Emphasis is on economic and social topics; census reports are collected for many countries. The collection provides support for teaching and research at Indiana University, and also is the premiere collection of foreign documents within the state. Of note is the Africana collection, publications on current topics, and important retrospective materials for Western European countries, including runs of parliamentary debates and working papers for Great Britain and France, as well as German debates from 1867 to the present.
The primary emphasis of the state collection is on Indiana documents and those documents which have significance in relation to Indiana, either in scope or subject matter. Indiana documents are collected comprehensively, while other documents are selectively acquired, based on user demand. Many state documents are made available through the Statistical Reference Index microfiche.
Many of the documents in the Government Publications Department collection can circulate. Indiana citizens can apply for a borrower's card at the Main Library's Access Services Department.
Primary library staff contacts for government publications are listed below. Please contact the Department by phone at 812- 855-6924 or contact individual librarians by their e-mail address.
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