Meet GPO’s Newest Preservation Stewards: the University of Iowa and the State Library of Ohio

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is excited to introduce two new Preservation Stewards, the University of Iowa Libraries and the State Library of Ohio.

The University of Iowa Libraries now serve as a Preservation Steward for their tangible collection of almost 1,500 U.S. Government posters and a collection of 167 Congressional hearings. These hearings are among some of the most well-known in American history, including hearings on Iran-Contra (1987), the Pearl Harbor Attack (1946), and various hearings from the House of Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities held during the 1940s through the 1960s.

Here are just a few highlights from the Preservation Steward collection.

  • 100 Things You Should Know About Communism in the U.S.A. ( hearing- 1948)
  • Communist Infiltration of Hollywood Motion-Picture Industry: Hearings before the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eighty-Second Congress, First Session (1951)
  • Joint Hearings before the Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition and the House Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, One Hundredth Congress, First Session, July 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, and 14, 1987
  • Earth-rise above the lunar horizon: a view of Earth seen from Apollo 8 as the spaceship came from behind the Moon (poster-1968)
  • Faces of freedom South Vietnam (poster-1967)

The entire Preservation Steward collection is located in remote storage. The hearings collection does circulate, but the posters collection does not. Several years ago, the Library digitized its poster collections and made them available publicly through a partnership with GPO. Cataloging records with PURLs for the digitized posters are available through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

When asked about the decision-making process to become a Preservation Steward, Marianne Mason, the Federal and State Information Librarian, stated she “recommended a small number of publications for the University of Iowa Preservation Steward partnership in order to not overload the substantial number of staff workflows already in progress and space limitations within UI Libraries. My thinking is that participation in the FDLP requires stepping up to commit, even in small ways.”

Marianne also noted that the Preservation Steward agreement required conversations and consultations across several units at the Library.

“Cataloging-Metadata would need to inventory and ensure the publications were discoverable, Preservation would need to handle each piece to mend and protect upon shelving, and Access Services would need to provide space in remote storage for the collection,” she said. “A few Iowa FDLP libraries volunteered to provide second copies as a back-up in case of loss or damage through loans and general use.”

The Preservation Steward collection at University of Iowa Libraries is a real team effort.

The State Library of Ohio has agreed to preserve its tangible collection of the bound Congressional Record.

The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of Congress. The bound edition is created at the end of each session of Congress by collecting, re-paginating, and re-indexing the daily editions. There is one volume of the bound edition per Congress, with each volume published in multiple parts.

The State Library of Ohio joins the University of Colorado, Boulder as Preservation Stewards for this title.

The State Library of Ohio has a complete collection of bound Congressional Records from volume 1 through volume 157, part 17. The entire collection is non-circulating, but is available for in-library use. The more recent volumes are located in the reference section, while the older volumes are housed in compact shelving.

Kirstin Krumsee, Library Consultant-Government Information at the State Library, says becoming a Preservation Steward, “was a good opportunity for us to do something to help the community as a whole. As opportunities arise, we’ll be glad to explore expanding our preservation stewardship.”

GPO thanks the University of Iowa Libraries and the State Library of Ohio for taking on the important role of Preservation Stewards. Consider joining these libraries and serving as a Preservation Steward for a part or all of your depository collection. Reach out to our partnership team for more information. 

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