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GPO Congratulates Massachusetts Library on 200 Years of Providing Access to Government Information

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is honored to recognize The American Antiquarian Society on its bicentennial as a Federal depository library.  The society has the distinction of being the longest serving member of the program known today as GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), and is one of a handful of non-Government  libraries that are designated in specific legislation to receive Government information from GPO.  The Worcester, MA institution has been providing free, public access to our country’s official documents since authorized by Congress to do so on December 1, 1814.  It was on that day, when President James Madison signed the 7th Joint Congressional Resolution of the 3rd session of the 13th Congress, authorizing the Federal Government “for furnishing the American Antiquarian Society with a copy of the Journals of Congress and of the documents published under their order." 

The Society has participated in this long-standing service of collecting and providing access to Federal publications while the distribution of U.S. Government documents to libraries throughout the United States has evolved.  Responsibility for distributing Federal publications started first in the State Department, was transferred to the Interior Department in 1857, and then to GPO in 1895 with the formal establishment of what’s known today as the FDLP. 

“GPO congratulates the American Antiquarian Society on its rich history of providing Government information to the American people,” said Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks.  “Even in this digital age, libraries continue to be the backbone in making sure the public has free access to documents produced by the Federal Government and it all started with this historic library in Worcester, Massachusetts.”

“The American Antiquarian Society is the first historical society founded in this country to be national in the scope of its collecting. From our very first year in 1812 and up to the present time we have been preserving and sharing America’s story. We are honored to be entrusted with the printed record of our national government and we proudly include these items in our collections,” said AAS president, Ellen S. Dunlap.


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