Government Printing Office Publishes 150-Year Retrospective

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has released Keeping America Informed: The U.S. Government Printing Office: 150 Years of Service to the Nation as the agency observes its 150th anniversary. The first official GPO history to be released in 50 years, Keeping America Informed conveys GPO's history through text and photographs, many never published before.

Created to bring an end to the costly and ineffective system of private sector printing originally used by the Federal Government, GPO opened its doors for business on March 4, 1861, the same day as President Lincoln's inauguration.

Since then, through war and peace, boom and bust, GPO has produced countless historic publications for the Government, including the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as the vast range of documents that Americans have used for generations, such as passports, social security cards, census and tax forms, and others.

The book focuses on GPO's role as the source of information by and about the Government for the past 150 years and the successive technologies used by GPO to carry out that role, from hand-set type to today's digital files. Keeping America Informed is available on GPO's Online Bookstore and GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) at

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"The story of GPO is intertwined with the story of our Nation and I am excited to share it with the public. GPO has worked alongside Congress and Federal agencies for 150 years to create the record of our Nation's Government," said Public Printer Bill Boarman. "I am proud of the GPO employees who compiled the information and photographs, wrote the text, and designed the book. It is not only the story of our agency and its contribution to our national life, but a testament to GPO's hardworking men and women."

With 2,200 employees, GPO is the Federal Government's primary resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government in digital and tangible forms. GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications--in both electronic and print formats--of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies.

In addition to publication sales, GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through GPO's Federal Digital System ( and through partnerships with approximately 1,220 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information, please visit Follow GPO on Facebook Twitter and on YouTube