version 1.0, 16 October 1996

book80 Latin American Government Documents Project

This is the front page to a project that organizes and describes the many Latin American official documents now appearing on the Internet. It consists of a series of tables that groups similar kinds of publications, briefly summarizes their contents and provides links to the appropriate level of the source server, thus:

Country Agency contents summary

Project Objectives:

The project will explore two classic issues of bibliography, currency and textual integrity, or more precisely how a combination of software and human intervention might bring these issues into balance as information technology changes. As with documents printed on paper, the producing agency bears principal responsibility for currency. However, when these materials are "published" on ftp servers, links to the electronic source must be continually verified. The project will utilize link checker software attached to its server for verification of the Latin American electronic sources.

Textual integrity is a more complex issue. For print materials, control is maintained by publication data (e.g. editions, versions, publication dates, editor's comments) and the archiving of physical objects, one of the library's principal functions. When the publisher becomes both source and archivist, textual integrity is endangered. This is especially true of government documents where publications are subject to the whims of political change. A way of monitoring changes in source documents, through version notes or other editorial statements or perhaps through text processing software at some point, is essential in preserving one of the bases of scholarship. Mirroring government sites, through the use of computer software, to insure a back up of these valuable materials is also a priority.


At its outset the project will limit itself to terra firme, including the Latin American republics on the mainlands of North, Central and South America and excluding the Caribbean. The tabled summaries include the following document types:

David Block