Library DrawingThe CONNector

January 2001Volume 3 Number 1

Bringing the Past to Light

Julie Schwartz, Unit Head, Government Information & Services

As the Regional Federal Depository for Southern New England, the Connecticut State Library has an historically rich collection of federal documents which dates back to the 18th century. For over 20 years, many State Library staff members have labored to bring these 18th, 19th and early 20th century treasures into the bibliographic mainstream.

The CSL online catalog contains over 400,000 records for federal documents, but most of these were items published after 1976, when machine-readable cataloging records became available for Government Printing Office titles. Thousands of items remained to be converted from Dewey to Superintendent of Documents classification before they could be added to the online catalog.

Most recently, Federal Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso has made finishing the retrospective conversion of this collection a Millennium Project. For the past several years, Nancy has painstakingly assigned Superintendent of Documents numbers to countless publications. Last year, Reference Librarian Marcia Matika began assisting with adding the records to our online catalog and our holdings to OCLC, a worldwide bibliographic database. These efforts, along with those of our Bibliographic Information Services and Stacks staff, have made thousands of early publications easily available to the citizens of Connecticut and Rhode Island for the first time.

We'll be reporting more about the Bring the Past to Light project. Until then, search our online catalog from our Web page for the riches we've unearthed so far.

REMEMBER: You can check out many state and federal documents directly with your Connecticut State Library borrower's card, or through Interlibrary Loan from your local public library. Call us at (860) 757-6570 for more information.

Old photo of people packing a mule.
Do you know the proper way to pack a mule?

War Department. Office of the Quartermaster General. Pack Transportation. Government Printing Office l908

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