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Library News

January 2007

GPO Federal Depository Library Offers First-Ever Digital Collection of Civil Rights Documents


WASHINGTON—As the Nation pauses to remember the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) teams up with the United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) and the Thurgood Marshall Law Library, University of Maryland School of Law, to provide the American public a website of authentic Civil Rights historical publications.

"GPO is honored to be participating in this project,"said Judith Russell, Superintendent of Documents. "This is an example of GPO's mission to improve service to the public and assure permanent access to digital collections."

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library, which is a GPO Federal Depository Library, has been scanning hundreds of historical Civil Rights publications to make this digital collection possible. These documents are provided by USCCR. With a couple strokes of the keyboard, Americans can access Civil Rights documents such as The Civil Rights Act. These documents are accessible at:

"The Commission has continued to play a vital part in the efforts to combat discrimination in America. By providing access to the historical record of this important federal agency, the Thurgood Marshall Law Library will offer the public an opportunity to examine the efforts of the Commission more closely, while aiding the Commission in its role as a clearinghouse for information about civil rights," said Kenneth L. Marcus, United States Commission on Civil Rights.

"In conjunction with the Thurgood Marshall Law Library's strategic plan to enhance its civil rights collection in support of the School of Law's teaching and research mission, the Library has worked since 2001 to create a complete electronic record of United States Commission on Civil Rights publications," said Bill Sleeman, Assistant Director for Technical Services at the Thurgood Marshall Law Library.

The U.S. Government Printing Office is the Federal Government's primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating, and preserving published U.S. Government information in all its forms. GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three Branches of the Federal Government. In addition to publication sales, GPO makes Government information available at no cost to the public through GPO Access (www.gpoaccess.gov), and through partnerships with more than 1,250 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information, please visit www.gpo.gov.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with monitoring federal civil rights enforcement. Members include Chairman Gerald A. Reynolds, Vice Chairman Abigail Thernstrom, and Commissioners Jennifer C. Braceras, Peter N. Kirsanow, Arlan D. Melendez, Ashley L. Taylor, and Michael Yaki. Kenneth L. Marcus is Staff Director. Commission meetings are open to the media and general public. For more information, please visit www.usccr.gov.

The Thurgood Marshall Law Library, the University of Maryland School of Law, boasts over 400,000 volumes of American and foreign legal materials and an outstanding collection of electronic sources. A full range of research support services by experienced law librarians make the Library an excellent research facility for scholars, the judiciary and the practicing bar. For more information please visit: www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall.


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