From January-March, University Libraries is hosting an exhibition, two talks and a commemorative program celebrating the libraries’ 100 years as a federal depository library, drawing attention to its extensive collection of government documents and highlighting some specific projects of University faculty and graduate students that were shaped by government documents.
From the U.S. Constitution to the Patriot Act, from 19th-century illustrations of the Grand Canyon to photographs of the surface of Mars, government documents reflect our country’s history and ongoing debates and interests.
Every year, the U.S. government distributes thousands of these publications — as well as a growing number of electronic documents — through its Government Printing Office and the Federal Depository Library Program, a network of more than 1,250 libraries around the country.
As one of these libraries, University Libraries are responsible for making government information freely available to the public. The exhibition — Celebrating 100 Years of Federal Information — showcases documents relating to major historical events since the 1790s, including important moments in the history of St. Louis and Missouri, and reveals how beautiful some of these documents can be.
The main event in the libraries’ commemoration, the “Celebrating 100 Years of Federal Information” presentation, exhibition viewing and reception, will be from 4-6 p.m. Feb. 15 in Rebstock Hall, Room 215.
The presentation will feature special recognition of the libraries by Judith Russell, U.S. superintendent of documents and managing director of information dissemination at the U.S. Government Printing Office. Wayne Fields, Ph.D., the Lynne Cooper Harvey Professor in English and director of American Culture Studies, both in Arts & Sciences, also will speak.
This program will be followed by a reception and exhibit viewing in Olin Library’s Ginkgo Reading Room, where curators will be on hand to answer questions. R.S.V.P.s are being requested for this event, via a 24-hour recorded response line (935-8003) or e-mail (email@example.com).
Other events include:
• Jan. 31, 4-5 p.m., Olin Library’s Ginkgo Reading Room: Crystal Alberts, Ph.D. candidate in English, will present a talk titled “Analyzing the Blur: Don DeLillo’s ‘Definitive Meditation’ on the JFK Assassination.” Alberts will discuss her research on DeLillo’s use of the Warren Commission Report and other government documents to blend fact and fiction into a reconstruction of the JFK assassination in his novel Libra.
• Feb. 7, 7-8 p.m., online: A webcast titled “Great Government Documents” will air on the University of Missouri’s LIS Radio program First Tuesday. The program will feature Barbara Rehkop, WUSTL government documents librarian, and Laurie Canepa, New Mexico regional federal documents librarian.
After the live broadcast, the program will be available on-line. To listen, go to lisradio.missouri.edu.
• March 21, 4-5 p.m., Olin Library’s Ginkgo Reading Room: Henry W. Berger, Ph.D., professor emeritus of history in Arts & Sciences, will give a talk titled “Dropping the Bomb: The Decision to Use Atomic Bombs Against Japan in World War II.” Berger will discuss the ongoing debate on the U.S. decision to deploy nuclear weapons against Japan in 1945.
The exhibit can be seen during Olin Library’s regular hours: Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.
For more information about government documents and some of the research involving them at the University, go online to library.wustl.edu/govdocs100.html.
For directions or more information, call 935-6569.