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This Week's Facts:

  1. Online Resource Tracks Progress of Federal Legislation

  2. 19th-Century Reports Account for State Legislative History

  3. IDEM Tool Tracks Smog Levels in Indiana Communities

National Archives Source for free Genealogy Aids

Those who do genealogy have another source of information to turn to.  In addition to finding aids that relate to its collection, the National Archives (NARA) publishes a variety of pamphlets on genealogical research that are available for free.  They have several that relate to genealogical research in general, including how to use the Census Soundex System and how to search land entry files.  They also have pamphlets that relate specifically to NARA holdings and facilities.  To order the free publications, contact NARA via their address or phone number.  They also have instructions on how to buy other publications.  However, many of the free publications are also available for download.

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Federal
Documents Librarian
&
Kim Brown-Harden
State
Documents Coordinator

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Indiana State LibraryFederal Depository Library

Online Resource Tracks Progress of Federal Legislation

Govtrack.usPatrons who are interested in tracking a piece of legislation from its very start to if/when it gets passed into law will be interested in Govtrack.us.  Started in 2004, the website assembles information from a variety of sources, including THOMAS, and organizes them in an easy-to-find way.  You can search by bill number or even browse by subject area to find out if a bill is still under consideration, if it’s been modified or if it was abandoned.  You can also find information about your specific Senators and Representatives, including how they tend to vote, how often they miss sessions and how many bills they sponsor and co-sponsor.  Information on Congressional Committees and roll call votes are available here, as well.

Interested users can not only visit the website to access this information, but can also follow Govtrack.us on Twitter or Facebook. 

19th-Century Reports Account for State Legislative History

Brevier Legislative Reports“Resolved,  That the Door-keeper be directed to contract with A.E. Drapier & Son, for six hundred copies of ‘Brevier Legislative Reports,’ of the proceedings and debates of the present General Assembly, after the style of their reports in the ‘Legislative Sentinel”-said reports to be made up from columns of some daily newspaper printed in the town of Indianapolis…”

The Brevier Legislative Reports were published 1858-1887 and provided a verbatim account of the legislative history of the Indiana General Assembly for this time.  This is the only time a legislatively appointed stenographer recorded and published debates and discussions of the Indiana General Assembly.  Currently, there is no way to get a verbatim account of the Indiana General Assembly; the House and Senate Journals only provide procedural documentation of legislation that may contain some debates.  This unique document contains debates and speeches from the floor of both chambers; vetoes and messages from the Governor; and finally a detailed record of each bill introduced in the House and Senate.   This resource offers a rich history of Indiana legislation.  Printed copies can be found in the Indiana Collection at the Indiana State Library (328.7 I385) or digitally at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Digital Collections. 

IDEM Tool Tracks Smog Levels in Indiana Communities

IDEM: SmogWatchThe Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)  has a great tool to help citizens stay informed of the air quality in Indiana.  SmogWatch  provides daily updates about ozone levels, air quality forecasts, health information, and monitoring for seven regions of Indiana.   If you’ve experienced a summer in Indiana, you know that Indiana experiences its greatest ozone levels from mid-May to September.   SmogWatch provides an invaluable resource for people with respiratory conditions which could become fatal if exposure is constant.    Access to the air quality forecast and health scale is user friendly and easy to understand.  Just click on your region and you’ll be able to view ozone level and primary pollutant level, which has the highest potential of health impact.   Click here to view air quality and interactive maps and data about air quality and other links.   Click here for more information and resources on air quality.  Remember to watch for air quality when working or playing outdoors during the summer season.  It could save your life.

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