The Hunt for Digital Oregon Documents: Building and Populating the Oregon Government Publications Digital Collection
When the Oregon Documents Depository Program (OrDocs) began in 1907, the only way to access an Oregon state government publication was to get a paper copy. The OrDocs program distributed (and still distributes) state government documents to designated depository libraries around the state, enhancing government transparency and citizen engagement.
By the end of the century, however, it was obvious that the old model was no longer sufficient. The internet was becoming an additional avenue, if not the only avenue, for the dissemination of state government information. Libraries nationwide, including the State Library of Oregon (then known as the Oregon State Library), were looking for solutions to the problem of collecting digital documents.
By the early 2000s, the State Library, working with the Department of Administrative Services, OrDocs depository libraries, and the Documents Interest Group of Oregon, had begun planning a way to collect digital OrDocs. The culmination of this effort, in 2006, was the passage of House Bill 2118. The bill required state agencies to provide digital copies of their publications to the State Library, regardless of whether the publications were available online or not (Hulshof-Schmidt, 2006, p. 7).
Note: A new version of this article was posted on Nov. 6, 2020, to include the author's updated State Library of Oregon email address.