GPO, OFR to digitize 2M pages of the Federal Register

More than 14,000 issues spanning almost a century will be scanned by hand and posted online.

The Government Publishing Office, in partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration’s Office of the Federal Register, today announced a project to digitize 2 million pages of the federal government’s flagship daily publication — all the way back to its first issue on March 16, 1936.

GPO workers will scan and catalogue all 14,586 copies of the Federal Register by hand, a process that is expected to reach completion by 2016. Presently, only Federal Register editions from 1994 on are available for online review.

“The digitization of every issue of the Federal Register is another example of GPO and OFR adapting to meet the changing needs of how the public gets Government information,” GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks said in a statement. “I am proud of GPO’s 80 year relationship with OFR and how these two Government agencies continue to work together in making current and historic Government information available in multiple platforms.”

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.” Established by an executive order from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it is published at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday with the exception of federal holidays.


The GPO is responsible for all federal procurement, cataloguing and indexing of files, consisting of digital and print resources. It disseminates documents across all three branches of government and is the issuing authority for U.S. passports.

“I’m excited to ‘open the doors’ to our library of Federal Register volumes,” said Oliver Potts, director of the Federal Register. “Digitizing these books and making them available online fills a critical gap in the official digital record.”

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