Federal Publications Digitization and Public Access Files Initiatives

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is working with Federal depository libraries, Federal agencies, and others interested in ensuring public access to materials currently being held in Federal depository library collections across the United States and its territories. This work is being accomplished by coordinating digitization efforts and otherwise providing access to Federal electronic resources. The scope of this initiative makes working together in a collaborative effort essential to create a truly complete and non-duplicative digital collection.

The focus for this effort is on:

  • Coordinating the digitization projects among institutions.
  • Assisting in the establishment and implementation of guidelines.
  • Maintaining a registry of digitization projects.
  • Serving as one of the repositories for electronic files through the ingest of material in the Federal Digital System (FDsys) upon full system implementation.
  • Ensuring that there is appropriate bibliographic metadata for the titles in the collection.

Federal Digitization Guidelines

GPO, through it’s participation in the Federal Agency Digitization Guidelines Initiative is one of many agencies participating in the development and sharing of best practices and standards. As part of this initiative, the Federal Agencies Still Image Digital Working Group has been formed to focus on developing sustainable guidelines for the conversion of tangible objects (i.e. books, maps, and other still images) into digital files. Adherence to these guidelines will help ensure the quality, consistency, and longevity of all publications digitized. As the working group moves forward with additional guidelines, GPO will share this information broadly as part of the collaborative digitization effort.

How to Participate in this Collaborative Digitization Effort

  • Registry of U.S. Government Publication Digitization Projects
    Let GPO know what your library is working on by including your digitization projects in the Registry of U.S. Government Publication Digitization Projects. Search the Registry to find out what other libraries are digitizing or find possible partners for a collaborative project.
  • Become a Digitization Partner
    Consider partnering with GPO to make the content you digitized more widely available. If you have a project that you would like to talk with GPO about, just complete the partnership inquiry form and GPO’s partnership coordinator will contact you. To learn more about how to become a partner and see the list of current partners, visit the partnership page.
  • Consider National Priority Titles When Determining the Titles to Digitize
    GPO has developed a white paper, Priorities for Digitization of Historical Federal Publications, highlighting the publications which should be digitized first because of their importance to the community. This paper is a revision of GPO’s paper on the Priorities for Digitization of the Legacy Collection, which was originally developed in 2005. The paper describes the methodology used to develop the list of titles to be digitized that were most important to FDLP libraries and other specialty libraries and organizations. The following is a list of priority titles for the collaborative Federal digitization effort:
  1. Code of Federal Regulations
  2. Federal Register
  3. U.S. Code
  4. Congressional Record
  5. U.S. Reports
  6. Public and Private Laws
  7. Congressional Bills
  • Consider using the Following Standard Formats for Public Access
    GPO’s FDsys, when fully operational, will have the capability to ingest converted content electronic files helping to ensure public access to Federal resources. Acceptable file formats include: TIFF, PNG, PDF/A, PDF, JPEG2000, GIF, Bitmap, ASCII, and XML. While these formats are acceptable as submission formats, converted content providers are encouraged to work with GPO to assess needs and set expectations for search and access capabilities, access derivative creation, and metadata submission.

Listing of Potential Digitization Grant Opportunities

At the request of the Depository Library Council, GPO developed the reference list below of potential Federal Government agencies and private sector organizations that offer digitization grant funding. Depositories should review their state’s grant funding opportunities to see what is available.

Federal Government: Private Sector:

News & Events

January 21, 2021
A new, limited-quantity, promotional offer is now available to Federal depository libraries. GPO’s Library Services & Content... Read More ...
January 21, 2021
Upon the close of the 2020 Federal Depository Library Conference, the Depository Library Council (DLC) began developing formal... Read More ...
January 19, 2021
The Depository Library Council’s (DLC) Exploring the Durability of PURLs and Their Alternatives Working Group seeks volunteers from... Read More ...
January 19, 2021
Tomorrow, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) will perform scheduled maintenance on the FDLP eXchange. Start Date: Wednesday,... Read More ...
January 19, 2021
The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) worked with the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) to produce... Read More ...
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The U.S. Congressional Serial Set is a large and complex publication. Several Federal depository libraries have shared inventories of the Serial Set and other guides to help others use this important collection.

Library of the Year Bloomington Library

The Depository Library Council recently presented four recommendations and one commendation to GPO. GPO’s responses are now available.

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GPO has once again made history by becoming the only organization to maintain the highest global standard of excellence for digital repositories.


Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government is now featuring a downloadable quiz on one of our Nation’s most notable Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin, as we celebrate his 315th birthday on January 17.

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FDL Coordinator and former member of the DLC, Gwen Sinclair, has published an Open Educational Resource textbook: Government Information: A Reference for Librarians in Hawai’i

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