Need to look at US government documents that don’t seem to be publicly available?  All may not be lost!  Thanks to the tireless efforts of journalists, researchers, and average citizens thousands of documents that would otherwise remain closed to public scrutiny are made available each year through Freedom of  Information Act (FOIA)  requests.  Even better:  many of these folks  have contributed their FOIA documents to freely searchable web archives.  Here are a few of the best:

  • National Security Archive at George Washington University: “collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States.”
  • GovernmentAttic: “provides electronic copies of hundreds of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act….(including) fascinating historical documents, reports on items in the news, oddities…and government bloopers.”
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation:  This site focuses on collecting and disseminating documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act “on controversial government surveillance programs, lobbying practices, and intellectual property initiatives.”
  • American Civil Liberties Union:   This portion of the ACLU website provides access to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act “relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners in U.S. detention centers overseas.”

Note,  some US Federal Departments and Agencies also have well-organized and fairly comprehensive collections of their own FOIA documents, such as

Huge kudos to Sheryl Adam for suggesting this topic and for finding these sites!!!  Watch the blog for a future entry on similar Canadian sources of FOI documents.

wirelessThe next time you use your laptop on campus, you may notice a new wireless option: ubcvisitor (read more here).

As the name suggests, this is a wireless gateway to the internet for visitors — non-UBC folks.

If you are part of the UBC community and are trying to connect to eresources to which the UBC Library subscribes, PLEASE do not use ubcvisitor. Why? Because the IP addresses for this new network will not allow you to connect to subscribed eresources.

The recommended wireless network for UBC community members is ubcsecure.

If you have a valid UBCcard or a CWL and you are connected via ubcsecure and you still have problems accessing Library eresources, please let us know using our help form.

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