100 GPO Years Revisited

My agency, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), usually is more concerned with getting information from other Federal agencies digitized, printed, posted, and disseminated than in publishing our own books – that’s been our job in the Federal Government for almost 150 years. When we do publish something of our own, such as our Style Manual, about which I blogged awhile back, it’s worthy of note.

That’s my lead-in to 100 GPO Years, 1861-1961, published to mark GPO’s centennial. I’m sure it didn’t make a particular splash in the world of books back then, but it’s a rare and beloved commodity for those of us who work here, or used to. After a brief history of pre-GPO public printing, replete with scandals and corruption (and that’s why Congress decided to establish GPO), the book chronicles GPO’s activities year by year. The growth of GPO paralleled that of the Federal Government, spurred on by the Civil War, two world wars, the Cold War, the New Deal, the Great Society, and all of the other historical developments that gave rise to America’s present status as a superpower. For all of these momentous chapters in our history, GPO was there, printing the Emancipation proclamation, the declarations of war for both world wars, the UN Charter, and innumerable other documents of our democracy. Remarkably, though, we’re still at the same location as we were in 1861, at the corner of North Capitol and H Streets NW in Washington, DC. Instead of one small building, there are four large ones, as well as facilities nationwide.

On June 23, 2010 – the 150th anniversary of the congressional resolution that established GPO – a reprint of 100 GPO Years was a centerpiece of the kickoff of GPO’s sesquicentennial celebration.  It’s a facsimile reprint, but with a new Foreword, an excellent index, and a colophon that describes the typefaces of both printings. On March 4, 2011, 150 years to the day after the inauguration of both GPO and Abraham Lincoln (it was the first day GPO was open for business), GPO will publish a new history. Until then, you can learn a lot about us by reading the straightforward narrative and sampling our unique historic photograph collection in 100 GPO Years. You can read the reprint on our anniversary Web site or purchase a copy here. Soon it will be available in Federal depository libraries nationwide. If you can’t wait, you can find the original printing  in some libraries.

Happy birthday to us!

20 Responses to 100 GPO Years Revisited

  1. Joaquim Trindade da Silva says:

    Feliz Aniversário, continuação de bom trabalho.


  2. Lily Teed says:

    !keep doing this great job! and Happy birthday!


  3. Lily Teed says:

    Great job! and Happy birthday!


  4. Rhonda Romiti says:

    Happy Birthday!


  5. abduljabbar says:

    good work and happy birthday .. always forward


  6. Wolf Steel says:








  7. KevinP. Feeley says:

    I am pleased to associate USGPO with veracity and I am always pleased when I have the opportunity to refer an inquiring mind to our USGPO, so that they too, can enjoy the enlightenment that I find with USGPO; while I never put all of my eggs into the same basket, USGPO is my litmus axiom resource centre.


  8. kiwani [awakening] says:

    The GPO provides an invaluable and wothwhile service
    to US citizens-keep up the good works–
    happy Birth Day…


  9. James McNeill says:

    I’m a Brit and my passion is the Vietnam War and I have amasssed quite a collection of USGPO publications on that conflict. I even had the chance to visit the USPGO outlet in DC not once but twice. Great books and service.


  10. Thomas Wilson says:

    I love history and thank you for keeping our countries records. Happy Birthday!!! I especially love being born of the fourth of july in this great country!


  11. Drako says:

    Happy anniversary and thanx for
    ‘100 GPO Years’ in pdf…!


  12. David says:

    GPO prints what citizens need to know about their country from authors who may not meet mainstream criteria for saleability.


  13. John Hamilton says:

    The Historicle Publications have always caught my interest. I have been buying WWII Theatre maps and donating them to the local VFW Post Museum. Great stuff!!


  14. Sara Friedman says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I enjoy the many publications that I have purchased through GPO. I find the topics varied and thought provoking and unique to this website.


  15. Anna Chronis says:

    Happy Birth Day!!!


  16. Charles Paulk says:

    The GPO has provided excellent service for all of us the past 1oo years. Keep up the good work. HAPPY BIRTHDAY


  17. Marasoiu Marian Puiu says:

    Heloo! I am reci9ved with enthusiasm your message to aniversary of the 150 years for the book printing from the U.S governament Of United State anniversary of the congressional resolution to reprint of 100 Gpo years of the KiKoff of sesoicentennial celebration.It is a great moments from America from peoples and citizen who not born but live in the Unitet State The country will adopted and them like a good mother or father and take care from them to fulfilment of dream American the spirit who not death ever.I congratulation the peoples who do all this ceremony and I want to remaind a phrase who say Edgar Alen Poe ; A country who don’t ow history is sams like a children who don’t know and meeting his father.
    Mr.Marasoiu Marian Puiu
    fodator Freedomilenium Organization&Linkedin concern


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