Notable Government Documents

About the Notable Government Documents To recognize excellence in government publications, identify documents of distinction, and commend
individual works of superlative nature.

The "Notable Documents List" was originally begun by the Notable Documents Panel of the American Library Association's Government Documents Round Table, with hopes that the list would promote awareness and acquisition of government publications by libraries and use by library patrons. The list also was intended to recognize the individuals and agencies involved in producing these excellent sources of information and inspiration.

The Notable Documents Panel was initiated in 1982, by a proposal from the Education Task Force to the GODORT Steering Committee. The annotated citations lead to hundreds of outstanding publications from all levels of government and in an ever expanding range of formats. Reprints are available free as a public service from LexisNexis, 7500 Old Georgetown Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814.

The "Notable Documents List" first appeared in RQ in the 1984 and 1985 spring issues. From 1986 on it has been published in the May 15 issue of Library Journal. Yearly citations cover documents from the previous two years, so "1983 Notable Documents List" published in 1984 would include items published in 1982/1983 and so on. Beginning in the early nineties, the annual feature took on distinctive titles, with the subtitle "Notable Documents" and, 1992 on, "Notable Government Documents."

A complete bibliography of the lists can be found

Administered by:

Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) logo

Federal Documents

2011 Selection(s)

Navy Medicine at War: The Complete Series

Navy Medicine Support Command, Visual Information Directorate. 2010. 6 discs. color & b/w. 201 min. SuDoc# D 206.24:W 19/DVD.

This six-DVD set documents the history of navy medical activities during World War II from Pearl Harbor to the bombing of Japan. It contains plenty of archival footage combined with reenactments. In addition, it relies on interviews with surviving veteran sailors, as well as doctors and nurses who share their eyewitness accounts of life aboard the ships in the South Pacific more than 60 years ago.

The Senate’s Civil War

U.S. Senate. 2011. 33p. illus. SuDoc# Y 1.3:S. Pub. 112-7.

A collection of photographs, maps, political cartoons, and other materials that emphasize the crucial role played by the U.S. Senate during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The online supplement includes full-text versions of the documents that are only summarized or cited in the book, such as the Final Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, various speeches extracted from the Congressional Globe, and letters and memoirs by Senate members who saw the Capitol building transformed into barracks and that document the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson.  Specific document:  General information:

Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012

131st ed. U.S. Census Bureau. 2011. 1004p. illus. SuDoc # C 3.134:2012. GPO Stock # 003-024-09088-1. $44.

In addition to being the quintessential statistical resource of all time, Statistical Abstract is a Notable Document for 2011 simply because this edition will be the last produced by the Census Bureau and distributed through FDLP. Future editions will be published commercially, so librarians will still have options for maintaining the continuity of their print collections. A classic reference tool.

Then Came the Fire: Personal Accounts from the Pentagon, 11 September, 2001

U.S. Army, Center of Military History. 2011. 328p. illus. SuDoc# D 114.2:P 38. GPO Stock# 008-029-00545-0.

In 2011, there were many publications designed to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. In addition to the 59 people aboard the flight that struck the Pentagon, 125 people in the Pentagon were killed. The editors of this memorial volume have collected the stories of eyewitnesses, including the military and civilian personnel who escaped the burning building and first responders and reporters at the scene. It also includes hundreds of photographs.

U.S. Army Order of Battle, 1919–1941

by Steven E. Clay. Combat Studies Inst. 2010. illus. maps. SuDoc# D 110.2:B 32/2/v.1-4.

This massive encyclopedia outlines the command structure of the U.S. Army. It contains an entry for each individual unit and provides information such as name of commanding officers, assigned headquarters, and brief history and focuses on where and when the unit experienced combat. The volumes covering World War I were published in 1939; for World War II, 1984. This latest series addition covers army units between the two World Wars and required 20 years of painstaking research.

Weather Spotters Field Guide: A Guide to Being a SKYWARN Spotter

U.S. Dept. of Commerce, National Weather Svc. 2011. 68p. illus. SuDoc# C 55.108:SP 6/4.

Since the 1960s, SKYWARN, a program of the National Weather Service, has trained thousands of volunteer, on-the-ground weather spotters to recognize the initial signs of potentially hazardous weather. These volunteers are a vital link in NWS’s alert and warning process. The Field Guide is their working reference manual and contains many “first signs” photos, policy and procedures for reporting dangerous weather, and safety tips for weather spotting.

State & Local Documents

2011 Selection(s)

North Dakota

Crossing the Water: An Oral History of the Four Bears Bridge

by Calvin Grinnell & others. North Dakota Dept. of Transportation. 2010. OCLC# 694787162. 4 discs. color & b/w. 160 min. Free (limited quantities upon request).

“The three bridges known as ‘Four Bears’ and the Garrison Dam had a profound effect on the people living along the Missouri River and on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation,” per the program packaging. Using historic photos and footage and the words of those there at the time, this DVD set lets “the bridges reemerge, taking their place in a landscape of memories and taking their physical shape in a graceful new span across the Missouri River.”

North Dakota Trail Guide

North Dakota Parks & Recreation. 2010. OCLC# 670095591. 43p. illus. maps. Free.

North Dakota offers outdoor enthusiasts a wide choice of trails for exploring the state’s diverse terrain, beautiful scenery, and historic landmarks. Whether seasoned or novice hikers, longtime residents, or new visitors to the state, users of this guide will find the basics of what’s needed to explore North Dakota’s varied outdoor offerings, including location, amenities, and contact info for 18 trails located in state parks, state forests, recreation areas, and nature areas.


Ohio Statehouse: A Building for the Ages

by Cheryl J. Straker & Chris Matheney. Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, dist. by Donning Co. 2011. 80p. illus. ISBN 9781578646821. OCLC# 790407726. pap. $13.95.

In the year of its sesquicentennial, the Ohio Statehouse, Senate Building, Atrium, and grounds and many of the political leaders who have made a lasting impression on Ohio politics are celebrated in this book, which aims to offer readers a glimpse of the history, architecture, and symbolism of Ohio democracy.

North Dakota

Sundogs and Sunflowers: Folklore and Folk Art of the Northern Great Plains

by Timothy J. Kloberdanz & Troyd A. Geist. North Dakota Council on the Arts. 2010. 339p. illus. OCLC# 656158780. pap. $34.95.

With more than 1000 folklore texts representing the peoples and cultures of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Montana, and Canadian provinces, from 2010 to decades past, this volume covers ghost stories, weather, folk beliefs, medicine, language, and lore. Over 300 photographs depict the rich colors of art, traditions, and life on the Great Plains.