Author Archives: Hans Raum

About Hans Raum

Reference and Instruction Librarian; Government Documents Librarian; Library Liaison: United States History, European History, Medieval History, Classics and Geography

Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling

The final report of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling is now available online at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/pagedetails.action?packageId=GPO-OILCOMMISSION.  The spill disrupted an entire region’s economy, damaged fisheries and critical habitats, and brought vividly to light the risks of deepwater drilling for oil and gas.

Our library will be receiving the print version of the report in about 2-3 weeks through the Federal Depository Library Program.

New database: Social Explorer

The library recently added a subscription to Social Explorer, which provides easy online access to demographic information about the United States, from 1790 to present.  It allows for the easy creation of thematic maps and downloading into other software products such as PowerPoint.  It also provides convenient digital access to two censuses never before available online: 1970 and 1980.

Sites worth seeing

Among the many useful websites from U. S. government agencies there are several that seem particularly relevant to the current economic situation in the United States:

Beige Book
Provides a summary of commentary on current economic conditions by Federal Reserve District. It is published eight times a year.
Stopfraud.gov
Dedicated to helping find and report suspected cases of financial fraud.
USAspending.gov
Provides a state-by-state listing of where federal tax dollars are spent and what they are spent for. Vermont ranks 51st among the states for 2009.

Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program

One of the Internet resources featured in the latest issue of the Internet Scout Report, at http://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/2010/scout-100402.html, is the Monterey Terrorism Research & Education Program, at http://www.miis.edu/academics/researchcenters/terrorism.  Based at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the Monterey Terrorism Research & Education Program (MonTREP) “conducts in-depth research, assesses policy options, and engages in public education on issues relating to terrorism and international security.”  Their team of scholars looks at violence-prone extremist groups and their historical evolution, organization structure, and operational methods. Most people will want to look at their Islam, Islamism, and Politics in Eurasia Reports (IIPER).  The IIPER is a bimonthly compendium of news and analysis on politics involving Islam in the former Soviet Union.  The reports are written and edited by Dr. Gordon M. Hahn, and the series also accepts independent submissions as well. Visitors are welcome to browse through the reports here, and they may end up forwarding them to friends and associates. Finally, the site also includes a “News & Student Stories” area which reports on the activities of current members of the team, alumni, and students.

Online access to the Health Care Reform law.

The Health Care Reform legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and signed into law by President Obama is available on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). To view the electronic versions of the legislation, debate and vote click here for the press release: http://www.gpo.gov/pdfs/news-media/press/10news12.pdf.

Income Tax forms available

Copies of various state and federal income tax forms and booklets are now available in the display racks at the Information Desk in the library.  Many additional forms can be found online at the website of the Internal Revenue Service, at http://www.irs.gov/.  If your adjusted gross income was $57,000 or less in 2009, you can use new Free File software to prepare and e-mail your taxes online.  The software can be accessed at the IRS website.

Cataloging Project Completed for the Bailey Collection of Vermont Pamphlets

        Horace Ward Bailey was a native Vermonter who served the state in many capacities, from state Senator and U. S. Marshall to State Railroad Commissioner and member of the Champlain Tercentenary Commission, but he may well be best remembered for his collection of Vermont pamphlets, which “was one of the most complete in the country and included some of the rarest known specimens of the early days of the history of the State,” according to a memorial volume written by his friends. 

          After Mr. Bailey’s death in 1914, his collection of Vermont pamphlets was purchased from his estate for the library at Middlebury College.  For many decades this collection of 130 bound volumes of pamphlets had a paper index, but was otherwise uncataloged and unused. Thanks to a recently completed ten-year project by the Catalog Department, the pamphlets have been cataloged, and the most unique and interesting pamphlets are being digitized as well.

          The earliest pamphlet in the collection dates back to 1794 and other pamphlets date from the very early 1800’s to Bailey’s death in 1914 and cover a broad range of topics, from town histories to railroad annual reports and a report on the Dred Scott decision on slavery.  As we celebrate the quadricentennial of the discovery of Lake Champlain by Samuel de Champlain in 1609, it is worth noting that there is an extensive collection of materials on the Lake Champlain and Hudson River Tercentenary among the Bailey Pamphlets.

          All of the cataloged pamphlets (well over 900) can be found in Midcat by doing a title search on Bailey’s Collection of Vermont Pamphlets.  The pamphlets are shelved in the locked portion of the Vermont Collection, which is in Special Collections.

          Many thanks go to the staff of the Catalog Department for their hard work and tenacity in completing this ambitious project.