Government documents links in GIL

September 3, 2009 – 12:11 PM

Last week the U.S. Government Printing Office’s (GPO) PURL server failed, disrupting access to online U.S. government documents. “PURL” stands for persistent URL – these are the links that start with… and are listed in associated GIL records as “Online Text.” While GPO is in the process of restoring their system, it may unfortunately be several weeks or longer before their work is complete. Please note that this does NOT mean that these documents are no longer available online, only that for the time being they cannot be accessed via the PURL on their GIL records.

A suggested work-around until PURL access is restored: most GIL records for online government documents include the title’s original URL at the time it was cataloged; assuming it hasn’t changed you can cut and paste the address in a new browser window. On a GIL record the URL will be listed under “System Details” in the Full Display view or in the 538 field in the Technical Display view. If you still can’t find the title online (which probably means the URL has changed), try a web search for the document’s title. Please contact Map & Federal Regional Depository Librarian Hallie Pritchett ( for further assistance.

Further details about the status of the GPO PURL server will be posted as they become available.

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