This blog post is not intended as a mere rant against political expediency but rather an attempt to delineate the impact of the shutdown on all forms of cultural life in the United States of America. I would welcome comments and additions as readers become aware of further Federal closures or their knock on effects.
This blog is updated regularly whilst the shutdown continues - see the bottom of the posting for the latest updates.
Resources and Shutdown Services
THe US government shutdown is interrupting services and jeopardizing the paychecks of more than 800,000 federal workers. It is estimated it will cost $320 million per day of closure. Here are some resources that list what is closed and the effect that is having.
A list of Federal and Smithsonian art and cultural museums
The Smithsonian's contingency plan (PDF) 3,514 employees furloughed.
A list of Historic Places and Preservation such as the Federal Agency Historic Preservation Offices
A list of Family History and Genealogy
National Parks - the core site is down and directs us to the DOI
The Department of the Interior's contingency plan covering the National Parks
Funding agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and Arts (NEA), Kids Arts website, Kids Music Website, etc.
FAQ: How would a government shutdown impact federal workers?
Notes:Thanks to @brettbobley @dzorich @suz_paul @rivenhomewood and @fredsaunderson for getting me started.
Each day I will try to add more resources as information comes to light. If you want to add content then send me ideas or just comment below.
Update from suse cairnsLibrary Services Impacted by Government Shutdown
- The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is closed and will be unable to disperse grants and funds to libraries as part of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).
- U.S. Census websites and collection surveys will be unavailable until the government is funded.
- The Government Printing Office (GPO) is closed. Gpo.gov will not be updated during the shutdown. Federal Register services will continue in a limited capacity.
- The Library of Congress will be closed to the public and researchers for the duration of the shutdown.
Update from Gareth Knight @gknight2000
Update 2/10/2013Shutdown of US government websites appears bafflingly arbitrary
"We have now conducted a more thorough examination of 50-plus different .gov websites. In the chart below, we have highlighted whether they are up or down, and what, if any, notice they are giving to their visitors."
Update 3/10/2013Some interesting stuff is coming to light from people's experiences. I wont quote names here to save folks from any issues that may arise but some thoughts expressed to me or seen on social media etc. include:
US Holocaust Memory Museum
"I can say that US HMM is closed. Last news was amusement about an 'orderly shutdown' of Holocaust memory..." (anon - but not USHMM staff)
Library of Congress, NIST NSRL, Copyright Office
"Comment 1: LC's site being down of course means digitalpreservation.gov is down. F*******. Republicans, you're making me mad!
Reply 1: And the copyright office. There was exactly one day when one could get at the small claims tribunal recommendation. Argh.
Reply 2: It's not broken, it's off on purpose. We were told to take down our web properties because there is no one to support them while we're shut down.
Reply 3: METS, MODS, etc., schema definitions are not available, and id.loc.gov ... the list goes on... The digital library I work on isn't entirely broken but certain things don't work right now... very sorry for the people who are furloughed -- I'm so grateful to you when you are keeping these sites and their data up and running -- we really depend on you. Hoping this furlough ends very soon.
Reply 4: Same is true of NIST NSRL, so our project is basically at a standstill."
One Nation Under Shutdown by Sam Stein & Jason Cherkis
You can get details of the State by State situation. But I highlight here a few culturally related items:
More on Digital Preservation
Barbara Sierman, Manager Digital Preservation Research at Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands made this comment to the blog and I have pulled it into the core text as it is worth repeating here:
"It would be interesting to see which information on the US government related part of the web the digital preservation community needed and was not able to see during this shutdown. I’m thinking of small, daily activities like a Signal issue you wanted to read back, just look up the 5 preservation levels that NDSA has started or looking up the information about a certain file format in the LoC registry. As digital preservationists we are trying to mitigate the risks related to our own digital collections. Does not the current event show that we, as a digital preservation community, have not thought enough about mitigating the risk of unavailable resources that are vital for our work? Do we need more mirror sites of vital information in different places of the world?"
Illtud Daniel, Head of ICT at the National Library of Wales sent this very helpful tweet and comment also:
@SimonTanner it's also going to break a whole lot of automated workflows etc in library/digihum. Check these schemas http://www.xmldatasets.net/cgi-bin/domain.pl?loc.gov …
"10 years ago the Digital Preservation community worried about formats. Since then I haven't had a single format go bad, but the schemas that we've relied upon to describe and structure the resources and hold preservation metadata have broken more than once. These are now the weak links in our digital preservation."
The Government Shutdown and Libraries by George M. Eberhart
The American Libraries Magazine gives great coverage of the shutdown.
Thanks to @dzorich @DUKEpress @james3neal for bringing this to my attention.
Thanks to @dzorich @DUKEpress @james3neal for bringing this to my attention.
Update from Ellice Engdahl @ErisuEEE
"With the Library of Congress website down, The Henry Ford has lost access to LOC's name authorities, which we use for cataloging our collections. We've transferred previously used terms to our collections management system, so have easy access to terms we've previously used, but we're having to use fairly ancient print volumes to find new subject terms--and the print volumes don't even cover person and organization names. We're trying to find alternatives, but I imagine this is causing difficulties for many folks--a West Coast public librarian friend told me she was also feeling the absence of the site. (The Wayback Machine doesn't help here, as the site wasn't fully crawled, so the bits we need aren't available.)
If this goes on for a while, this could impact the collections items we make public through our digitization project...."
The Cost of the ShutdownLink here to the New York Times
"The two most recent shutdowns, in 1995 and 1996, cost the Treasury $1.4 billion over 26 days, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget, the equivalent of $2.1 billion in today’s dollars."
"The research firm IHS Inc. estimates that the shutdown will cost the country $300 million a day in lost economic output. That average will probably grow if the impasse continues, as more agencies run out of saved funds and receive no new appropriations.Moody’s Analytics estimated that a shutdown of three or four weeks would cut 1.4 percentage points from fourth-quarter economic growth and raise the unemployment rate."
The shutdown hits the West harderLink here to the High Country News
"Every Western state has a higher percentage of federal employees than the nation as a whole, many of whom have now been furloughed... Like it or not, Westerners are dependent on the federal government, and our economies depend on federal spending."
Limited Services Provided by Indian Affairs During Government ShutdownLink here Patty Dean, Director of Community Preservation at Montana Preservation Alliance brought to my attention the important issue of the effect the shutdown will have on "Indian Country", an already impoverished peoples.
About Patty Dean: http://www.preservemontana.org/board.html
Patty gave me permission to repeat her message that gave me the above content:
"Your statement about the shutdown's impact on the US' cultural life is correct but the American West is being particularly affected, see http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/the-shutdown-hits-the-west-harder given how many national parks & federal public lands there are out here & how many small businesses in the gateway communities to these national treasures will experience financial hardships--esp those near Yosemite who were already suffering due to the Rim wildfire that curtailed visitation. At my own statewide nonprofit preservation alliance this morning we were to have a phone conference with Bureau of Land Mgmt (US Dept of Interior) & US Forest Service colleagues to do more planning for a May 2014 regional tour/conference in central Montana. Due to the shutdown, we most likely will be missing the vital input of these two colleagues...& who knows how long the shutdown will last? But perhaps more importantly however, is the effect the shutdown will have on "Indian Country" out here, an already impoverished peoples, http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/10/02/limited-services-provided-indian-affairs-during-government-shutdown-151558"
"News from the Library of Congress
October 1, 2013 (REVISED October 3, 2013)
Federal Government Shutdown
Due to the temporary shutdown of the federal government, all Library buildings are closed, all public events are canceled, and all inquiries and requests to the Library of Congress web-based services will not be received or responded to until the shutdown ends.
Information on loc.gov is not being updated.
Copyright.gov, THOMAS.gov and Congress.gov are all available.
A Note to loc.gov Users
Ahead of the temporary shutdown of the federal government, the Library alerted patrons that Library websites, except the legislative information sites THOMAS.gov and beta.congress.gov, would be inaccessible in the event of a shutdown.
The Library has restored access to all sites in addition to our legislative information sites. Other legislative branch agencies, and many executive branch agencies with information functions similar to the Library, are granting public access as well."
Latest victim of the #shutdown: the T. Rex that was supposed to come to DC.
More information on the closed war memorialsInteresting article in the Washington Post about closed war memorials and veterans.
The Government Shutdown’s Effect on Culture Is Worth Caring About by Kevin Pires on Falvorwire
From Art to T. Rex, Shutdown Stirs Worry By Jeremy W. Peters
"On Oct. 16, the museum is set to receive a rare, nearly intact Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, which is on loan for 50 years from a museum in Montana. If the shutdown drags on for weeks, as it did in 1995 and 1996, the 38-foot-long, seven-ton T-Rex may have to stay out West a little longer before making the trip."
"National Portrait Gallery, museum executives fret that a shutdown will interrupt the rollout of their newest exhibition, “Dancing the Dream.”"
"A bit of shutdown fatigue is already visible among people who work at the national museums and institutions. “Oh God, the shutdown,” Linda St. Thomas, the chief spokeswoman for the Smithsonian Institution, sighed when told that the subject of this article was how Washington’s museums would cope."
Impact of Government Shutdown on the Arts by Janos Gereben
Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects (PDF)
Clinton T. Brass, Coordinator, Congressional Research Service, September 25, 2013
Shutdowns latest casualties: Chinese tourists at Jing Daily
EU-US negotiations fall victim to shutdown
"This delay is not fatal, but if the US shutdown drags on and you are taking things off the table like culture and financial services, it is not a good way to start," said Stuart Eizenstat, a former US ambassador to the EU."
Privately Funded Museums Stay Open in D.C.
Mural Arts Project 'What We Sow' dinner event transplanted to Center City due to U.S. shutdown
A Native American Perspective on the Government Shutdown
Government Shutdown Impact to Naval Historical Foundation Photo Reproductions and Museum Store
Shop impacted by museum being closed
"The owners of Reid’s Coffee Shop in West Branch met with the Congressman Sunday afternoon. They said they have seen more than a 50 percent decrease in business since the shutdown. The shop said it gets most of their business from tourists who come to visit the Herbert Hoover Library and Museum. With the library and museum closed from the shutdown, the coffee shop is seeing the effects.
“We work for ourselves, but now we’re going to have to spend our savings,” said shop owner Laura Rierson."
US Antarctic research season is in jeopardy in Nature
Shutdown hits geospatial industry
"The government shutdown on Tuesday has limited online access to maps and other geospatial data and services used for assessing U.S. infrastructure, among other applications. Websites for the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal agencies serving the geospatial professionals have gone dark."
During Government Shutdown, EBSCO is Offering Complimentary Access to ERIC Database