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

September 24, 2020
September 30, 2020 is the deadline to add tangible format item numbers to your item selection profiles. Adds remain in the library’s... Read More ...
September 23, 2020
Has your library extended its free WiFi to patrons outside of the library during COVID-19? Do you have any photos of patrons taking... Read More ...
September 22, 2020
This message has been cross-posted. Please excuse any duplication The final schedule and preliminary agenda are now available for the... Read More ...
September 21, 2020
New featured titles have been added to the Historic Publications page for fall 2020. Head back to school with: New additions to... Read More ...
September 18, 2020
If your library has been considering joining the Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP) in order to receive free, monthly... Read More ...
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Wendy Knapp

On September 24, 1789, the first Supreme Court was established. The Judiciary Act of 1789 was passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. Check out these resources from the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications:

national collection

National Punctuation Day is celebrated September 24th. Punctuation separates sentences and their elements to clarify meaning. Without it, meaning would be lost or up for interpretation. Check out these resources from the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

For Your Library


Prepare your library for reopening with FDLP face masks and social distancing signage.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020 is the deadline for libraries intending to add tangible formats to their item selection profiles for Federal fiscal year 2021. Learn more.


Access resources for patrons and administrative information for library staff, as well as infographics and images for your library website.

Constitution Day

Jefferson College Library in Hillsboro, MO is giving away free copies of the Pocket Constitution, and the Library is sweetening the day with individually wrapped patriotic cookies, voter registration forms, and more. Their Vote 2020 guide has information about exercising your right to vote, becoming a media savvy voter, and learning about the history of voting and elections.

Salesforce launch

Harford Community College created a Constitution Day & Voting Rights guide, and they are also providing ‘grab and go’ bags to students on campus who have computer or study space reservations. Most of their campus is virtual right now, but that hasn’t stopped HCC Library from celebrating Constitution Day and serving their patrons.

Photography day imaage

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 - October 15, celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period from September 15 - October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.


Library Call to Action

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