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Government Reports: From the Serious to the Scandalous

A new display on the ground floor of the Murray Library highlights government reports from the University Library’s collection.

Government reports come from various jurisdictions across the world. They cover many topics, from the mundane to the macabre.

Reports on display include:

  • Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019) is the culmination of a years-long inquiry, and contains 231 Calls for Justice, which call on all Canadian citizens and institutions to make meaningful and lasting change.
  • The Mueller Report (2019) is also known as the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. It calls to mind another sensational report from over 20 years ago, The Starr Report (1998), the investigation into US President Bill Clinton which led to his impeachment trial.
  • International intergovernmental organizations, such as the United Nations, also release reports. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), part of the United Nations, is the leading world body for the assessment of climate change. Its reports are key to developing climate policies in governments across the world. The University Library has many IPCC reports, such as the first one: Climate Change: The IPCC Scientific Assessment from 1990.
  • Government reports are also created by municipal and provincial governments, such as Final Report: The Cluff Lake Board of Inquiry (1978, Saskatchewan provincial) which examined the social, economic and environmental impact of uranium mining in the province.

Why does the library have so many government publications? Historically, federal publications have been provided courtesy of the Government of Canada through the Depository Services Program (DSP) in which the University Library at USask is a Full Depository Library. The DSP played a vital role in making government information available across Canada. By 2013, more than 90% of the federal government publications were disseminated electronically at which time the DSP ceased operation.

While many newer government publications are now available online, the Murray Library still receives new items every week. Our collection also includes older materials that have not been digitized.

Some government documents may be found within the regular collection, but the second floor of the library houses the bulk of the library’s government publications. This collection includes documents from federal, provincial and municipal governments across Canada, as well as documents from the United States and the United Nations.

Government reports are primary sources that can be vital in your research, especially if you are looking for historical information. Researchers are encouraged to browse through this collection, or stop by the Ask Us desk on the first floor of the Murray Library for help searching them from the library’s website.
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