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U.S. Documents Retrospective Collection

Special Exhibition
In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the
Federal Depository at The Newark Public Library

A Window to Your Government: An Exhibition Celebrating the Centennial of the Federal Documents Depository

Main Library - Second Floor Gallery
November 27, 2006 - January 13, 2007

The Newark Public Library has been a Federal Depository Library since 1906, and has a substantial collection of publications from the second half of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. This portion of the collection is useful for finding information on events in U.S. history and on life in the United States during different historical periods. (picture from The Children's Bureau: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, 1937)

Tools to access this portion of the collection include: the Cumulative Title Index to United States Public Documents, 1789 - 1976, the Cumulative Subject Index to the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, 1900 - 1971, the annual indexes of the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, and the CIS U.S. Congressional Serial Set Index.

Some Highlights of the collection:

Information about New Jersey: find out about New Jersey legislators, public buildings, workers, farms, etc. Many old government publications contain state-by-state statistical data and other analyses.

The United States Congressional Serial Set: Congressional reports and documents from the 15'th Congress (1818) to the present. The Library has volumes 1 through 5215 (59th Congress, 1907) in microprint and many original paper volumes from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For later years, particularly after 1963 when the Library became a regional depository, the collection is nearly complete.

Information on Native Americans: the collection contains enormous amounts of information on Native Americans, particularly from the Smithsonian Institution, the Department of the Interior, and the Serial Set.

(Picture from the Handbook of American Indians, pt.1, Smithsonian Institution, 1907)

Thanks to a grant from the New Jersey State Library, we were able to acquire equipment and materials to create custom-fitted boxes to protect our oldest materials. We are using the Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789 - 1909 as a guide in choosing the items to be boxed.

The U.S. Documents Division has begun work on a database listing documents holdings from 1975 and earlier (those not represented in the Library's catalog).

(Picture from the 1891 Annual Report of the Secretary of Agriculture)


A Century of Law Making for a New Nation in the Library of Congress' American Memory Project includes full text scans of some historic documents, including: Congressional Record predecessors the Annals of Congress, Register of Debates, and the Congressional Globe; House and Senate Journals (1789-1873); Bills and Resolutions (1823-1873); and Statutes at Large (1789-1873). This collection is searchable.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison along with the University of Illinois-Chicago has digitized the Foreign Relations of the U.S. from 1863 through 1958.

The Illinois Institute of Technology has the Wright Air Development Center Digital Collection, scans of government technical reports created by WADC from 1952-1964 relating to the space race and other aeronautical research.

Northwestern University has a collection of World War II Posters.
There are more World War II Posters at the National Archives.


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