Document Type



Presented in Paris at the 6th Conference on Computerisation of Law via the Internet, November 3, 2004.


The Government Printing Office (GPO digitization efforts have the goal to provide permanent public access in electronic form to publications of the United States Federal government, following the American principle that citizens should have free access to government information. By law and tradition, GPO has provided access to official publications regarding the three branches of the Federal government, Congress, the judiciary, and the executive, since 1813. Sample legal publications include bills, congressional reports and hearings, Congressional Record, public and private laws, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, Supreme Court decisions, federal agency reports and documents.

GPO is currently building a new model for government publishing, based on the new technologies available. It is creating a fully digital database of all known federal government documents, to be used for multiple purposes, such as producing print on demand documents and disseminating official government documents over the Internet. GPO intends to take the lead in creating digital standards for official documents of the United States government. This includes gathering and producing digital documents in a uniformly structured database, in order to authenticate documents disseminated over the Internet and to preserve the information for permanent public access. It also involves developing database search and retrieval tools, metadata and permanent PURLs (Persistent Uniform Resource Locators), and providing increased to training to librarians.

Date of Authorship for this Version

November 2004


Government documents, Preservation, Digitization

Claire GPO abstract French.rtf (2 kB)
Abstract in French