Digitizing Government Documents

For the past week I’ve been meaning to write a post to congratulate Carl Malamud on his latest win in his fight to open up government resources. Partnering with several organizations and funding sources, the Boston Public Library will embark on a project to digitize its government documents collection.
Check the NY Times coverage:

The project, which will take two years and require the hand scanning of millions of pages of government hearings and related publications, will cost an estimated $6 million, according to the project’s sponsors.
Boston Public Library librarians said they planned to begin by digitizing the House Committee on Un-American Activities hearings from the 1950s, which is regularly sought after by its patrons.
The project is being undertaken by Public.Resource.Org, a nonprofit group seeking to open public access to government records, and the Internet Archive, a San Francisco-based digital library.

Also, check out Carl’s announcement at Public.Resource.Org and BoingBoing. I’ve had the privilege of working with Carl both in my capacity at Congress and as a fellow advocate of open government data; he’s one of the most passionate and interesting folks I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I’m always looking forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve next.

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