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Denton Public Library program:

Censorship of Government Information


Starr Hoffman, Librarian for Digital Collections, UNT Libraries


print versions:


Efforts by UNT and other Depositories to Maintain Access to Electronic Government Information


I. The CyberCemetery


Disappearing Information

Government agencies create websites, but once their Congressional funding runs out or they complete their final reports, their websites usually disappear. Now, we identify these websites and archive copies of them in the CyberCemetery.


The CyberCemetery was created in 1997 to prevent the disappearance of online government information. It is maintained by a partnership between the University of North Texas Libraries, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), as part of the Federal Depository Library Program. This collection provides permanent public access to the websites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions.


Archived Websites

  • first website archived in 1997
    • Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations
  • currently 45 available online
  • a number of others have been archived and should be available soon:
    • Iraq Study Group Report
    • Antitrust Modernization Commission
    • Technology Administration (under Dept. of Commerce)


Daily/Monthly Access

  • 175,000+ visits/month
  • 1,000,000+ hits/month
  • 460.8GB downloaded/month
  • 5,741 visits/day
  • peak of 8,501 visits on 11.28.06


Most Popular Sites


Browse Options

  • by agency name (alphabetical)
  • by date of expiration
  • by branch of government
  • by thumbnail image of homepage


II. Congressional Research Service Report Archives


What is a CRS Report?

  • published by the Congressional Research Service
    • public policy arm of the Library of Congress
  • created for members of Congress
    • provides timely, objective research on legislative issues
  • center around topics relevant to current legislation


Current Public Access

  • none through CRS
  • must request reports from their member of Congress
  • can purchase from several third-party vendors
  • use one of the freely-provided CRS archives online (see below)


Efforts toward Public Access

  • started effort to put reports online in 1991
  • legislation requesting publicly accessible website for CRS reports: introduced into Congress eight times
    • 2007 (H.R. 2545); introduced May 24th


CRS Reports Archive at UNT


Additional Sources for CRS Reports:


III. Web-at-Risk

One of eight digital preservation projects funded by the Library of Congress in 2004, known as the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP).


Partnership between:

  • University of California's California Digital Library
  • New York University
  • The University of North Texas



  • develop a Web Archiving Service (software that builds collections of web-published materials)
  • collect content from:
    • federal and state government agencies
    • political policy documents
    • campaign literature
    • other information surrounding political movements (such as blogs)


IV. LOCKSS (Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff Safe)

LOCKSS was launched as a pilot program with the Government Printing Office (GPO) to test archiving government-published e-journals. A LOCKSS computer runs open-source software that archives content as it crawls the internet. In the pilot program, the GPO tested a LOCKSS cache and opened the content to select depository libraries. GPO is now determining whether or not to use LOCKSS to distribute government e-journals, but some librarians are already using it to archive select government information.


Contact Us!

University of North Texas Libraries

Government Documents Department

Willis Library, 1506 Highland Street

Denton, TX 76203

phone: 940.565.2870

fax: 940.565.2599



Starr Hoffman

Librarian for Digital Collections

phone: 940.565.4150

email: starr.hoffman at unt.edu


Sources for Additional Information












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