The set referred to bears the title "United States Government publications, a
monthly catalogue," and its editor was John H. Hickcox of Washington, D. C. Volume
1 was issued for 1885 and yearly volumes followed up to and including v. 10,
for 1894. It was issued irregularly in monthly numbers. The first few volumes
were published by the editor himself, and although he afterwards sold all rights
to :W. H. Lowdermilk & Co., Washington, D. C., Mr. Hickcox continued to edit the
The publisher's announcement stated that "the importance of this catalogue as a
systematic and accurate record of the vast, varied, and important number of books
and documents issued annually by Congress and the Departments must be apparent
to every person who has occasion to consult such publications." It purports to
contain "a catalogue of all the latest publications of the United States Government."
The facts are, however, that many publications issued during the decade from 1885
to 1894 escaped the notice of Mr. Hickcox; still, it frequently happens that Hickcox's
catalogue contains entries for publications not listed elsewhere. This catalogue
may be relied on for general excellence.
1ST EDITION OF THE CHECKLIST
In 1892 the Interior Department published a valuable work prepared by John G.
Ames, under the title "List of Congressional documents, 15th-51st Congress, and of
Government publications containing debates and proceedings of Congress, lst-51st
Congress, with miscellaneous lists of public documents, historical and bibliographical
notes." Eighty-three of its 120 pages contain a list of Congressional documents,
arranged by Congress, session, series, and volume, while the remaining pages list
the proceedings of Congress and the more important annual reports and a few miscellaneous
Dr. Ames performed a lasting service by giving to the public this first edition of
the Checklist. The supply was soon exhausted and the continued demand from
librarians made a new edition a necessity.
2D EDITION OF THE CHECKLIST
Soon after the Ofice of the Superintendent of Documents was established under
the general printing act of Jan. 12, 1895, Dr. Ames generously turned over to the
newly created office the printer's copy which he had prepared for a 2d edition of
the Checklist. For this new edition Dr. Ames had devised a numerical scheme of
"serial numbers" for Congressional documents, beginning with the 15th Congress.
ir Dr. Ames's copy, after considerable revision and with many additions, was issued
s the "Checklist of public documents, containing debates and proceedings of Congress,
lst-53d Congress, with miscellaneous lists of documents, and historical and
bibliographical notes, 2d edition revised and enlarged, issued by F. A. Crandall,
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, 1895." This edition had
Besides many additional lists, there were included also a prefatory note on the
first 14 Congresses, compiled by John H. Hickcox, and 3 appendixes compiled by
Miss Adelaide R. Hasse, app. 1 containing a list of Explorations and surveys, app.
2, Government catalogues, app. 3, Index.
This 2d edition, though hastily prepared, proved to be a very popular and useful
reference work. There were 3000 copies printed, but these were not sufficient
t6 meet the demand. No reprint was made for the reason that a very much more
complete Checklist was contemplated. This work, completed to the end of the
calendar year 1909, is now in your hands; but before a description of the 3d edition
is entered upon, it is essential to make mention of an intermediary volume issued
by the Superintendent of Documents.
United States. Superintendent of Documents. Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909, Third Edition Revised and Enlarged, Volume 1, Lists of Congressional and Departmental Publications. Washington. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1029/. Accessed May 2, 2016.