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New Government Documents  

Reviews of new government documents
Last Updated: Feb 17, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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2008 Capitol Christmas Tree

2008 Capitol Christmas Tree : featuring "Heart of Montana." DVD.

Sudoc number: A 13.140:C 171/DVD

This short video portrays the journey of the Capitol Christmas tree from Montana to Washington D.C. It highlights the special events and people who made this project such a success.The official 2008 U.S. Capitol Christmas tree ballad, "Heart of Montana" was written and performed by Jack Gladstone, a Native "Poet Singer" and lecturer from the Blackfeet Indian National of Montana.

The official lighting ceremony took place December 2, 2008. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi flipped the switch with the help from Chris Gabrielsen, a Havre, Montana student who won the trip to light the tree.

A sub-alpine was selected, cut and hauled to Washington, D.C. along with more than five-thousand hand-made ornaments. Students and artists donated the ornaments reflecting the theme, " Sharing Montana's Treasures". Along with the Christmas tree, more than 70 smaller companion trees were taken to Washington, D.C. to be displayed in congressional offices and other office buildings.

The success of this project was made possible through the generous support by dozens of partners, sponsors and volunteers. A complete list of sponsors is located on the inside jacket of this DVD.


Historic Log Drives

Historic Log Drives in the Northern Region.

Sudoc number: A 13.140:H 621/DVD

The footage on this DVD was originally taken on 16mm film. This 23 minutes video highlights historic log drives in the Northern Region of the Forest Service. Video includes music.


Pinchot : historic footage captured on 16mm film

Allan, Chris. Pinchot : historic footage captured on 16mm film.
USDA Forest Service - Northern Region, Northern Region Productions, 2009.

Call number: A 13.140:P 651/2/DVD

Gifford Pinchot (1865-1946), American conservationist and public official, was chiefly responsible for introducing scientific forestry to the United States. He is considered the founding father of the U.S. Forest Service and served as the first Chief of the Forest Service from 1905-1910.

The original footage on this DVD was taken on 16mm film. It was converted to DVD in 2009. This video gives an entertaining look into Gifford Pinchot’s life and influence in the U.S. Forest Service.

This 22 minute video contains two, 11 minute versions of the same video. One version of the film is silent, the other contains audio narration. The version with sound directly follows the silent film.


Effects of climatic variability and change on forest ecosystems

Effects of climatic variability and change on forest ecosystems : a comprehensive science synthesis for the U.S. forest sector. Portland, OR : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, 2012. 265 p.

Call number: A 13.88:PNW-GTR-870 Also available online.

“This report is a scientific assessment of the current condition and likely future condition of forest resources in the United States relative to climatic variability and change. It serves as the U.S. Forest Service forest sector technical report for the National Climate Assessment and includes descriptions of key regional issues and examples of a risk-based framework for assessing climate-change effects.”- Abstract


Unita Flora

Goodrich, Sherel. Huber, Allen. Uinta Flora, USDA Forest Service-Intermountain Region Ogden, Utah. 2014 

Sudoc number: A 13.2:UI 5/7 
“This Flora, containing about 1,700 species and about 400 specific taxa of vascular plants, is arranged alphabetical by family, genus, and species. It is intended as a field manual. To reduce the size of this volume, descriptions of species have been omitted except for those that are the only one of a genus, and those descriptions are often brief.” -preface



The Library of Congress ( has wonderful, public domain images

I personally love Gov. Docs but is there much love in them?

There is LOVING v. VIRGINIA, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), the Supreme Court Case which struck down racial marriage laws.

"In June 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, of the Circuit Court [388 U.S. 1, 3] of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia's ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years."

More information about the laws that led to this decision cane be found here. Images of of the Loving couple can be found at the Endowment For the Humaities.

The National Archive has The Love Story of Harry and Bess Truman

The National Gallery is a great source for artisitic images including this one of the Love Letter


You can post a letter with a heart stamp from the United States Postal Service.


Lost Villages

Hudson, Ray, Mason, Rachel. Lost Villages of the Eastern Aleutians. National Park Service. 2014
Sudoc Number: I 29.2:AL 2/2  

“The Aleutians-World War II National Historic Area, Alaska Region, is pleased to announce the arrival of Lost Villages of the Eastern Aleutians: Biorka, Kashega, Makushin by Ray Hudson and Rachel Mason. This book documents the history of three Unangax^ villages left behind in the evacuations and dislocations of World War II, never to be permanently resettled. In 1942, the Unangax^ residents of the three tiny villages of Biorka, Kashega, and Makushin were taken by boat first to the Wrangell Institute, then to a camp at Ward Lake near Ketchikan, where they stayed until the end of the war. When they finally returned to the Aleutians, they were not allowed to go back to their villages, but were resettled in Unalaska or Akutan.

Before World War II hastened their disappearance, the three villages had endured for centuries, surviving the hardships and challenges of Russian and American ownership of Alaska. Gathering information from personal interviews and oral histories, travelers’ and priests’ journals, commercial records, Coast Guard revenue cutter logs, newspapers, census records, and many other sources, historian Ray Hudson has woven together the complex and often tragic histories of Biorka, Makushin, and Kashega. Cultural anthropologist Rachel Mason’s Epilogue tells of boat trips in 2009 and 2010 to revisit each of the villages with elderly former residents and their children and grandchildren, each time planting a Russian Orthodox cross at the site of the former village chapel. The volume is one of several products of the Lost Villages of the Aleutians project, a decade-long collaboration with the Ounalashka Corporation to preserve the memory of the former villages and shed light on a very obscure corner of American history.”- Rachel Mason


Where the Buffalo Roam

Last week NPR had a story called The Hornaday Bison: Killing Buffalo In Order To Save Them. It is about the efforts of William Hornaday to preserve what he believed were some of the last bison. The story reminded me of a document I came across last year:

Superintendent of the National Zoological Park.

Published in 1889 the document describes the animals and their destruction. Images of the of buffalo killed by Hornaday for exhibition are included.

This report was included in the  Annual report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, showing the operations, expenditures, and condition of the Institution for the year ending June 30, 1887 and can be found in section SI 1.1 on level 1 or in Serial Set Volume number 2582 (Y1.2). If you would like to read the report online it is available through the link above from Project Gutenberg. 


Animal Carcass Disposal Using Explosives

Beckley, Bob. Animal Carcass Disposal Using Explosives. Engineering Tech Tips, USDA Forest Service, Technology & Development Program, September 2013.

Sudoc number: A13.137/2: 1371-2305-MTDC

This is not the most holiday-themed document unless you are looking for alternative methods to make reindeer fly, but it is an interesting document.

What do you do if there is an animal carcass in an area where it could attracted unwanted wildlife attention, but traditional removal methods are not an option? According to the Missoula Technology & Development Center the answer may be explosives. This document is useful for those who may have to dispose of deceased livestock or other large animals. It is a very practical guide is intended for responsible disposal and is helpfully illustrated.

For those who have a dark sense of humor this will get a laugh. 


A Story Written in the Rocks

Hemstad, Chris B., A story written in the rocks : the geology of Voyageurs National Park, International Falls, Minnesota : National Park Service, Voyageurs National Park, 2013.
Sudoc number: I 29.2:V 94/5  

If you like volcanos, glaciers and plate tectonics this is a great book. Heavily illustrated with maps, examples of formation and diagrams this book is great!

A story written in the rocks : the geology of Voyageurs National Park was written to share the story told within the rocks. This book is intended as a guide to the geological history of the park. As it unfolds for you, numerous features will be identified in the photographs and the maps. We strongly recommend that visitor experience the landscape of the park firsthand. Seeing and touching it will help you experience and form an appreciation of the diversity of geologic features and the stories they tell you.” From Foreword by Tawnya Schoewe


Fuel Economy Guide

Fuel economy guide. Washington, DC : U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2015.

Sudoc number:  E 1.8/5: 2015   Also available online

Here is a super practical document from the Department of Energy and the EPA for those looking to buy a car.

“The annual fuel cost estimates in the 2008–2015 electronic fuel economy guides are updated weekly to match EIA's current national average prices for gasoline and diesel fuel.”

 You can find more information in a database which covers 1984-to the present with a tool which allows a comparison of cars.

Another great and somewhat related document is History of the Presidential Limousines, Revised September 2014. Don’t expect to find the gas mileage for these cars which range from the 1909 carriage for Taft to president Obama’s bus
Sudoc number HS 9.2:L 62/2014


Another Blast From the Past

Why not have turkey year round? This was less common in 1961 then today. This document provides suggestions for preparing turkey for any time, not just Thanksgiving. Published as part of the Home and Garden Bulletins this was part of a series of publications focused on the “home maker” and included booklets on everything for the lady at home including canning meat, how to fit a suit, prepare rabbit-based dishues and grow azaleas.

Look for these great, and still useful documents in A 1.77!


Now for something completely different

Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers

There are a number of documents in the Gov doc world that are considered hybrids. Not purely government document which were created through partnerships with other organizations such as Environment Impact Statements written by professionals hired by states or other governmental agencies. Sometimes there are crossovers to take advantage of interest in a movie or event, such as the environmental curriculum guide featuring the movie version of the Lorax.

This week I want to bring attention to another hybrid –America’s Great Ourdoors. This Tumbler post is from the Department of the Interior and is intended to encourage people to visit national parks. Members of the public submit photos taken in different National Parks and the results can be amazing. From the Acadia to Zion National Park you can find stunning and inspiring images. Just remember that unlike regular gov docs the images belong to the people who submitted them and are not in the public domain.


Pocket Guide for Outfitters



Pacific Northwest wilderness pocket guide for outfitters. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2014

Call number: A 13.36/2:W 64/12

In September the library had a display to celebrate the anniversary of the Wilderness Act. At that time we didn’t have this item. This booklet, filled with color illustrations promotes the use of wilderness areas and is filled with advice for outfitters and their clients regarding ethics, the benefits of wilderness, how wilderness differs from other areas and how to keep the area wild. This is a great little book filled with basic advice and philosophy regarding our protected wild lands.


El Alfabeto

El alfabeto del Búho Woodsy. Washington, District of Columbia : Servicio Forestal de los Estados Unidos, Programa de Educación para la Conservación, 2013

Sudoc: A 1.68:1729-S  

This is a fun book for children or people learning Spanish. Learn the names of many different animals Each brightly illustrated page contains many insects, birds and animals for the reader to find and identify and some pages include actions or advice for enjoying the outdoors.

Also available in English


Biosecurity Guide

Biosecurity Guide for Poultry and Bird Owners, Program Aid No. 1885, Revised April 2014. USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. 33pg.

Sudoc Number: A 1.68:1885/2014  Also available online

This spiral bound brochure is written in both English and Spanish and could be very helpful for those who keep chickens or other birds.

“This guide was designed to provide useful information on biosecurity for poultry and bird owners. The United States works very hard to prevent infectious poultry diseases such as highly pathogenic avian influenza and exotic Newcastle disease from being introduced into the country. To accomplish this, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that all imported birds (poultry, pet birds, birds exhibited at zoos, and ratites), except those from Canada, be quarantined and tested for the viruses that cause these two diseases before entering the country”


What is Propaganda?


What is propaganda? American Historical Association. Historical Service Board. Madison, Wis. USAFI, 1944. 46pg.

Sudoc number: W 1.55:2-90

During WWII Donald Duck could be found selling war bonds, on VD posters and in cartoons where he worked on German bombs. This educational pamphlet for GI discusses the different types of propaganda, the history of its use, different slogans, likenesses and how to evaluate information.

Other interesting titles bound with this document are Do You Want Your Wife to Work After the War? Can War Marriages Work? and What Shall be done with War Criminals?

Save that fat!

Durring the war rationing was an important activiy on the home front. Cartoons like this would have been common. This is from VICTORY, Offical Weekly Publication of the Office of War Information, July 28, 1942. Many government agencies including the Department of Agriculture, produced posters and advice pamphlets incouraging rationing. 

To purchase gas, food or even shoes you needed ration coupons like this one for sugar.


Blast to the Past!

New and old covers for A Short Guide to Iraq, the original copy is small- 13cm tall!

Instructions for American servicemen in Iraq during World War II. United States. Army Service Forces. Special Service Division. xii, 44 p. : ill., map ; Publisher:Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Sometimes people ask- is anyone really interested in old gov. docs? With the anniversaries of WWI and WWII it is a great time to pull some of the amazing materials from our collection to show just how interesting these items really are- and yes, people still use them! To get us started here is a reprint and a original copy of a 1943 guide for soldiers in Iraq. We have a number of these guides in the collection which can be found at
SuDoc W 109.110 Au 7-S 48

Here is an NPR piece on this guide. Advice to WWII Soldiers in Iraq Relevant Today, August 09, 2007 3:53 PM ET


Global Threat Reduction

Four-year effort : contributions of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative to secure the world's most vulnerable nuclear material by December 2013.

SuDoc number: E 11.2:G 51 Also available online

“President Obama’s nuclear security agenda, laid out in his historic speech in Prague on April 5, 2009, included a vision of a world free of nuclear weapons, ending the production of fissile materials intended for use in state nuclear weapons and ensuring that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon. In support of that last goal, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) led the United States’ effort to implement President Obama’s call to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years, set new security standards, expand our partnership with Russia, and pursue new partnerships to lock down sensitive materials.”


An app for that

Census PoP Quiz Mobile App Challenges Knowledge of State Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau today released Census PoP Quiz, a new interactive mobile application that challenges users’ knowledge of demographic facts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The new app, which draws from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, aims to raise statistical literacy about the U.S. population.


Wild & Senic Snake River

The Wild & Scenic Snake River Boater's Guide. USDI BLM, National Wild and Scenic Rivers, USDA Forest Service. 2014. 35 pg.

“The mighty Snake River winds its way through Hells Canyon, the deepest river-carved gorge in North America. Here the river flows through the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (HCNRA) and forms the boundary between Idaho and Oregon. The 652,488-acre HCNRA was created by Congress in 1975. Although the Recreation Area includes portions of the Nez Perce, Payette, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests, it is managed by the Wallowa-Whitman NF….”- pg.1



Carol Reardon. The Gettysburg campaign : June-July 1863. Washington, D.C. : Center of Military History, United States Army, 2013. 63 pages : illustrations, maps.

Call number: D 114.2:G 33/2  Also available online.

“After the Confederates’ victory at Chancellorsville in May 1863, General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, once again confronted each other across the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg, Virginia. The battle, which cost Hooker nearly 16,000 casualties and Lee some 12,300 losses, had proved indecisive. The two armies maintained an uneasy stalemate, occupying virtually the same ground they had held since December 1862. Washington, D.C., the U.S. capital, stood fifty-three miles to the north, while Richmond, Virginia, the Confederate capital, lay fifty-seven miles to the south. The rival presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, pondered their next moves.” pg. 7


Turning Point 9.11

Turning Point 9.11, Air Force Reserve in the 21st Century, 2001-2011, September 2012, 

Call Number:  D 301.2:R 31/18 Also available online.

“The contributions Air Force Reservists are making to the security of the United States and the world is a continuum of visionary concepts, ideas, and challenges undertaken at the beginning of the last century in the quest of human flight. Reserve members voluntarily partook of these endeavors and also gradually formed an effective organization. Moreover, the course toward the twenty-first century policy of maintaining a strategic air reserve that is well integrated with active duty forces and operationally engaged daily has been evolutionary and forged out of practicality and necessity. The result has been a responsive and efficient Air Force Reserve.”-DVIDS


Keeping up with Government Documents

It can be difficult to keep up with all the publications created by the U.S. government. Here you will find the highlights of some of the materials we received every day. Books listed here are available for checkout and may also be available online.

If you would like to be notified when a document in your field arrives, email


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