Subcommittee on Official Publications 2011 Report

Sunday May 29, 9:00 – 10:00 AM.

Attending: Joseph Holub (Chair), Peter Altekrueger, Kent Norsworthy, Peter Stern

IAI’s Web harvesting: The IAI conducts periodic targeted Web
harvesting of documents, mostly PDF files, from Latin America. Peter
estimates that they acquire between 2,000-3,000 documents
per year, as many as one third of which may be official
publications. Due to copyright and intellectual property issues, a
two-tiered access system is used for these documents. The downloaded
document is cataloged and stored locally on IAI systems, where it is
subject to their preservation process. Local users who get access to one of these documents as part of their search results receive a link to the IAI locally stored version of the document. External or public users who find one of these documents in their search results get a link to the original document at the URL where it resided at the time it was downloaded by the IAI. Over time, when these links go bad; they are deleted from the IAI record.

The University of Texas, Austin, has run a Web archiving program to
capture the contents of Latin American government websites since 2005.
Approximately 275 sites from 17 Latin American and Caribbean countries
are crawled four times per year using the Internet Archive’s
Archive-It service. The resulting Latin American Government Documents
Archive (LAGDA) collection
contains thousands of born digital official
reports from government ministries in the region, as well as the
website context in which the reports were published. The collection
can be browsed by country and ministry, then by date of the archived
website copy, or full-text searched. While this broad-based approach
succeeds in harvesting a large volume of government documents, it is
sometimes difficult for users to locate the material as they have to
browse the archive collection as if they were browsing the actual live

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) announced via a written report submitted to the meeting that it expects to complete digitization of its historic archive of
publications covering the period since its founding in 1948 through
1986 by December 2011. Links to the digitized full text versions of
these documents will be availible to the public through ECLAC’s online

The IAI and the Benson Latin American Collection have a long-standing
exchange agreement under which once per year Peter Altekruger travels
to Austin, and Adan Benavides to Berlin, to examine duplicate items in
each library. Several thousand (over 40,000 to date) items are acquired per year through this mechanism for the cost of shipping plus travel.


Submitted by  Joseph Holub, Peter Altekrueger, and Kent Norsworthy