- Federal government publications are important resources for primary source information such as statistics, history, legislative intent, and more, yet it has only been in the past few years that a major focus on digitizing historical federal publications has been undertaken. Now that digitization of these publications is underway, it is important for libraries to know how many of these publications are freely available online in order to provide greater access to information, and for collection development purposes, to withdraw federal depository collections. This article analyzes the online availability of a sample population of historical federal publications from 1943-1976. Results indicate that 21% to 26.5% of the sample documents are freely available online, with the majority stored in the HathiTrust repository. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.