GPO’s 150th Anniversary History Exhibit Open to the Public

WASHINGTON, DC—July 18, 2011—“The coolest thing ever!” “Great exhibit!” Those are a couple of the comments being left by the public at “Keeping America Informed,” the new exhibit hosted by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) to commemorate the agency’s 150 years of service to the nation.

The exhibit’s centerpiece—and a must-see for all those interested in one of the greatest documents of American history, as well as Lincoln enthusiasts and Civil War buffs—is an original, preliminary version of the “Emancipation Proclamation,” issued in September 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief and printed by GPO. The document, on loan from the Library of Congress, shows proofreader’s edits marking revisions that were incorporated into the final “Proclamation” issued on Jan. 1, 1863.

Telling the story of how GPO’s employees through its history moved from hand-set type to hand-held devices for receiving the latest digital files of government information, the exhibits uses images and examples of the agency’s remarkable output to describe:

  • What We Do (the nature and variety of GPO’s work for congress, the White House, federal agencies, and the courts),
  • Who We Are (the skilled and dedicated employees who do the work), and
  • How We Do It (the ongoing interaction of technology and skill that makes information available in print and online).

Among its features are copies of the memorable work produced by GPO throughout its history, including Thomas Jefferson’s Bible, the “Warren Commission Report on the Assassination of President Kennedy,” the colorful posters issued by the U.S. government during World War II, a signed copy of President George H. W. Bush’s 1991 “State of the Union” address, and the latest Web 2.0 version of the “Federal Register.” A linotype machine that accompanied General John J. Pershing’s headquarters staff into France during World War I is also on display, in addition to computer kiosks providing access to GPO’s Federal Digital System.

Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 732 N. Capitol Street NW. The exhibit is open to the general public. Exhibit goers can also pick up a discount coupon for GPO’s latest book, “Keeping America Informed,” the exhibit’s companion volume, available at GPO’s recently renovated bookstore or online.

About the U.S. Government Printing Office

With 2,200 employees, GPO is the Federal Government’s primary resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government in digital and tangible forms. 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—in both electronic and print formats–of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies. In addition to publication sales, GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through GPO’s Federal Digital System ( and through partnerships with approximately 1,220 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information, please visit

Source: GPO.