GPO Preparing to Mark 150 Years of Service

Archivist David Ferriero (left) takes Public Printer Bob Tapella into the vault at the National Archives to view Joint Resolution 25, which created the Government Printing Office 150 years ago.

Original Joint Resolution 25 document.

President James Buchanan's signature creating the GPO.

Archivist David Ferriero, Public Printer Bob Tapella and National Archives Trevor Plante.

WASHINGTON, DC—April 20, 2010—The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) was created when President James Buchanan signed Joint Resolution 25 on June 23, 1860. GPO opened its doors for business nine months later on March 4, 1861. As GPO prepares to celebrate 150 years of “Keeping American Informed” on the documents of our democracy, Archivist David S. Ferriero invited Public Printer Bob Tapella into the vault at the National Archives in Washington, DC to view GPO’s ‘birth certificate.’ The seven page handwritten document outlines the parameters for the federal government in establishing a national printing office.

“When you look at the agency’s humble beginnings 150 years ago and then look at the billion dollar enterprise GPO is today in serving all three branches of the federal government, it sends chills down my spine to see how far we have come in Keeping America Informed,” said Public Printer Bob Tapella. “I appreciate the Archivist providing the agency a facsimile of its birth certificate for our employees and the public to view as GPO prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary.”

“It is the mission of the National Archives to collect, protect and encourage the use of permanently valuable records of the federal government,” said the Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “The very fact that these documents are still alive and still available for future generations is the most exciting part of what my job is here.”

The GPO is the federal government’s primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating, and preserving published U.S. government information in all its forms. GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the federal government. In addition to publication sales, GPO makes government information available at no cost to the public through GPO’s Federal Digital System ( and through partnerships with approximately 1,250 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information, please visit Follow GPO on Twitter: and on Youtube:

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