Washington – At its annual meeting in New York City on Saturday, January 28, the American Printing History Association (APHA) bestowed its Institutional Award for 2017 on the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), citing the agency's work in "preserving and documenting the agency's history and making its resources available to the public through presentations and exhibitions." The award was accepted by GPO Historian George Barnum.
Drawing on historical work from previous years, since its 150th anniversary in 2011 GPO has carried out a robust historical program, beginning with the opening of a permanent public exhibit of the agency's history at its headquarters in Washington and the publication a new official history, Keeping America Informed. Since then, GPO has mounted several special temporary displays, conducted a series of talks on historical GPO subjects, published papers on historical subjects, and issued a revised edition of Keeping America Informed which includes new findings on specific aspects of GPO's history. In early February, GPO will release Picturing the Big Shop, a collection of GPO photographs spanning 1900-1980, many of which have never been published before.
APHA encourages the study of the history of printing and related arts and crafts, including calligraphy, type founding, typography, papermaking, bookbinding, illustration, and publishing. APHA's Institutional Award is presented "for a distinguished contribution to the study, recording, preservation, or dissemination of printing history, in any specific area or in general terms." Previous awardees include the Library of Congress, the Newberry Library of Chicago, the Gutenberg Museum in Germany, the Cary Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.
"We're very pleased and very honored to receive this award," said Barnum, "and to find ourselves among the distinguished roll of previous laureates." GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks said, "While GPO is focused on our future as publisher for the Federal Government using a growing array of digital and other technologies, we will never lose sight of our past as the Government's printer, and the role played here by the men and women who have always worked so diligently to Keep America Informed."