January 21, 2022

GPO and Smather’s Libraries (U. of Florida) Make Historic Panama Canal Commission Publications Available Online

From the Government Publishing Office:

The U.S. Government Publishing Office and the George A. Smather’s Libraries at the University of Florida (UF) make the digital versions of the Panama Canal Commission publications, and its predecessor agencies, available on GPO’s govinfo. 

The collection contains a variety of publications that provide a glimpse into the workings of the Canal and life in the Canal Zone.

  • The Canal Record, published weekly between 1907 and 1941 for the employees of the Isthmian Canal Commission contains a wealth of detail on life in the Canal Zone. For instance, the Canal Record issued August 19, 1914, contains a description of the first official trip through the Canal, lists of products available at the commissary with prices, rainfall totals for the week, as well information on Canal navigation.
  • Annual Report of the Department of Sanitation of the Isthmian Canal Commission was published between 1908 and 1910, the report contains vital statistics such as death rates, hospitals in the zone, and the mosquito brigades.
  • Panama Canal Review was a monthly publication issued in the Canal Zone beginning in 1950.  Similar to a newspaper for the Canal Zone, each issue covered events such as the delivery of electric stoves, news from the commissaries, statistics, and building updates.

The United States Government controlled and operated the Panama Canal and the surrounding Canal Zone from 1904 through 1999. The Panama Canal Commission was the final Federal agency to manage, operate, and maintain the Canal.  The Commission was created by the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977, and superseded the Canal Zone Government and the Panama Canal Company.  The Commission operated the Canal until the expiration of the Panama Canal Treaty on December 31, 1999, when the Republic of Panama assumed full responsibility for the Canal.

Direct to Panama Canal Collection (via U.S. GPO and U. of Florida)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.