So-called fugitive Canadian federal government documents are documents that are available in print or on a website but that are not collected by an official depository program such as the federal Depository Services Program that maintains the Government of Canada Publications catalogue.
A few years ago, staff at 11 Canadian libraries launched the Canadian Government Information Digital Preservation Network (CGI DPN), an initiative dedicated to preserving digital collections of government information.
In 2014, the Network created the Fugitive Documents Working Group to develop strategies to collect fugitive documents.
The Working Group has created a spreadsheet to locate and report fugitive documents collaboratively by checking what is available on government department and agency websites but not available in the federal Depository Services electronic collection. Official documents that appear only on departmental websites but that are not included in the Depository Services e-collection have been known to disappear without warning.
Recently, the Working Group announced on various listservs that Public Works Canada has agreed to collaborate with the project by picking up the items directly from the Spreadsheet for addition to the Depository Services catalogue.
The Working Group is still looking for volunteers to help with the project. Anyone interested in participating can contact:
- Susan Paterson – susan.paterson AT ubc.ca (University of British Columbia)
- Carla Graebner – cgraebne AT sfu.ca (Simon Fraser University)
- Sam-chin Li – samchin.li AT utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)