Wednesday, February 4, 2009

FDsys: The Future of Federal Publications

Federal legislative history researchers probably know about GPOAccess, the U.S. Government Printing Office's repository for federal publications. GPO Access includes the official U.S. Code, bills, committee reports, hearings, the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations, and a host of other documents; most materials are available in PDF back to the mid-1990s. However, GPO Access has long been plagued by a primitive search engine, making it most useful for retrieving known citations.

This will all change in the summer of 2009, when GPO Access will be replaced by FDsys (, which is currently available in beta format. FDSys (Future Digital System) currently offers more than 150,000 of the same congressional and executive documents as GPO Access, with advanced search capabilities and a more user-friendly interface. It is also currently the only source for the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents (see earlier post), which replaced the former Weekly Compilation last month.

Update your bookmarks and test out the FDsys beta. New documents are added every day, and additional functions are in the works.