GPO Celebrates 150 Years with Exhibit and History Book

On June 23, 1860, President James Buchanan signed Joint Resolution 25, which created the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). As part of its 150th anniversary celebration, GPO has opened an exhibit of that showcases the agency's 150-year history. Released in conjunction with the exhibit is Keeping America Informed: The U.S. Government Printing Office: 150 Years of Service to the Nation.

The Exhibit

GPO opened its doors for business on March 4, 1861, the same day as President Lincoln’s inauguration. Since then, 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 forms, and tax forms. The exhibit also depicts the technological transformation that has always been a part of GPO’s past and has always paved the way for future direction.

As part of the exhibit, GPO is displaying an original printed copy of the preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1862, GPO printed the preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation in general orders format issued as an order from President Lincoln in his role as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. GPO printed 15,000 copies for the War Department, which were distributed to military commanders and their troops and diplomats in foreign countries. The displayed copy at GPO, on loan from the Library of Congress, contains a printer’s proofing marks; those corrections were made in the final version of the Emancipation Proclamation issued in 1863.

GPO encourages those that will be attending the Fall DLC Meeting in Washington, DC this fall to come visit the exhibit.

GPO would like to extend its gratitude to the depositories that donated publications and photographs to its exhibit. View images of some of the donated materials in the slideshow below. Moreover, GPO would like to thank all of the depositories for being part of its history. Your dedication and service to ensuring public access to Government information extends to the heart of GPO's mission.

Click on any image to view the photos in a slideshow.

The Book

keep-am-informedKeeping America Informed: The U.S. Government Printing Office: 150 Years of Service to the Nation tells the story of GPO’s history through text and photographs, many never published before. Its authoritative text and unique images depict the enormous contribution of its employees, past and present, to the well-being of the American people and nation.

“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.”

Keeping America Informed is distributed to Federal depository libraries in paper format under:

  • Title: Keeping America Informed: The U.S. Government Printing Office: 150 Years of Service to the Nation
  • Class: GP 1.2:IN 3/2
  • Item Number: 0556-C
  • Shipping List: 2011-0349-P
  • PURL: http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo8534
  • CGP System Number: 000823623 (paper); 000823353 (online)

Keeping America Informed is also available for purchase from the GPO’s Online Bookstore.

News & Events

April 14, 2021
The Spring 2021 Depository Library Council Virtual Meeting (April 21) will include two Open Forums: Collection and Discovery... Read More ...
April 13, 2021
This message has been cross-posted. Please excuse any duplication. Handouts, slides, and the detailed agenda for the Spring 2021 DLC... Read More ...
April 13, 2021
This message is being posted on behalf of the REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) project. The REALM project is... Read More ...
April 13, 2021
Register to attend the live training webinar, "askGPO Update." Tuesday, May 18, 2021Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (EDT)   Recording and... Read More ...
April 12, 2021
Register to attend the live training webinar, "MarcEdit for Beginners." Tuesday, May 11, 2021Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (EDT)... Read More ...
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