GPO Official Histories
GPO's first published history --"History of the Government Printing Office"-- was privately published in 1881 by R.W. Kerr, a GPO official. Since then, two official histories were written in connection with major anniversaries: "100 GPO Years, 1861–1961: A History of United States Public Printing" was written for the centennial in 1961 and "Keeping America Informed: The U.S. Government Printing Office 1861–2011: 150 Years of Service to the Nation" was written in honor of GPO's 150th anniversary in 2011. Click on the buttons below to access the digital versions.
The permanent exhibit, entitled "Keeping America Informed: The U.S. Government Printing Office 1861–2011: 150 Years of Service to the Nation", tells the story of GPO service to the Nation.
The exhibit also features information on GPO's dissemination activities and work with digital technology.
Exhibit galleries are located adjacent to the GPO Visitor's Center, near the main entrance at 732 North Capitol Street NW and are open to the public Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4 pm. Special tours and night openings are scheduled occasionally.
Special Display: Lincoln & His Printers
GPO's collection of historic photographs is comprised of approximately 10,000 images in prints, negatives, and slides, as well as several hundred digital facsimiles spanning the period from around 1900 through 1960. More recent photographs are housed in various GPO departments.This site has two collections of historic photos:
- a selection of popular images in gallery format, and
- a collection reproduced for GPO's "History Hallways."
Printing History & Book ArtsGPO has and a major influence on American printing history and the book arts. Additional references on the history of printing and book arts can be found at the following sites:
- American Printing History Association
- Chesapeake Chapter of the American Printing History Association
- Guild of Book Workers
More videos showing some of GPO's printing and binding operations and involvement in other historic moments are available.