GPO Issues Digital Release of Federal Register for the 1980s

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register (OFR) digitally release historic issues of the Federal Register from 1980-1989. The complete collection of issues of the Federal Registers from 1980 to present is now available digitally on GPO’s govinfo.

This project is digitizing a total of 14,587 individual issues, dating back to the first Federal Register in 1936. Nearly two million pages are being digitized. The 1980s era of the Federal Register covers the Administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, and includes such highlights as:

  • The “Metric Conversion Policy for Federal Agencies;”
  • A final rule from the Coast Guard establishing a safety zone in the Los Angeles-Long Beach harbor area during the 1984 Summer Olympic Games; and
  • The declaration of a disaster loan area by the Small Business Administration following the 1989 San Francisco earthquake

“The digital version of the Federal Register gives the public easy access on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and personal computers to the historic rules and regulations of our Government from the 1980s to present,” said GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks. “I look forward to working with the Office of the Federal Register as we continue to digitize all issues dating back to the Administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

The first issue of the Federal Register came off GPO presses on March 16, 1936. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first document, an executive order, to be published. The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. It is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, in both digital and print editions.

GPO is the Federal Government's official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats. GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through, partnerships with approximately 1,150 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program, and our secure online bookstore. For more information, please visit


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