Historic Publications

GPO's Catalog of U.S. Government Publications and GovInfo offer free public access to a wide variety of interesting Government documents. Check out these interesting historic finds.

Spring 2024

Peace Corps

Digital Content Contributor University of Memphis has digitized publications from the Peace Corps for inclusion in GovInfo.


Published with grant support from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Storyboard for the 1979 film "Charlie Brown Clears the Air" includes a personal message from Charles Schulz.


Digitized by GPO Partner FRASER, the 1959 Department of Labor publication How American Buying Habits Change described improvements in living standards since 1888.

fishing by age

The Fish and Wildlife Service has published the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation since 1955.


GPO and the Law Library of Congress continue to collaborate on digitizing the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Recent additions to the GovInfo collection include historic editions of the Senate Manual and the House Rules and Manual.


Published by the Historical Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1978, The Department of Defense: Documents on Establishment and Organization, 1944-1978 includes organization charts proposed by congressional committees and defense departments over time.

Fall 2023


Boise State University continues to digitize publications of regional interest and contributes for ingest into GovInfo to expand access to the National Collection of U.S. Government Public Information. A recent contribution is the Soil Conservation Service publication, Consumptive Use of Water in the Irrigable Areas of the Columbia River Basin in Nevada.


Digital Content Contributor University of Washington digitized the 1956 International Cooperation Administration publication Program and Itinerary: Training of Teachers in Quality Control.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Central Library is actively digitizing publications from its predecessor agencies, such as the annual reports of the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Annual reports of the Coast and Geodetic Survey that were printed as congressional documents will also be made available via the Serial Set collection on GovInfo.


Part of BLM’s ‘Adventures in the Past’ Series, Early Miners of the Fortymile discusses the first gold rush in Alaska.


Break out the crayons for an Environmental Protection Agency coloring book, Our New England Environment, published in 1979.

Summer 2023


Explore digitized historic volumes of the Congressional Directory, including the 93rd Congress, 1st Session Directory containing President Joseph R. Biden Jr’s first appearance as Senator of Delaware.


GPO and the Law Library of Congress continue to collaborate on digitizing the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Recent additions to the GovInfo collection include issues of the Journal of the House of Representatives and Journal of the Senate back to the 15th Congress.


Boise State University continues to digitize and contribute Federal Government publications to GovInfo, including Status of Technical Work: Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project :Technical Steering Panel Meeting. Browse all of the publications contributed by Boise State University here.


GPO’s Library Technical Services has surpassed 3,800 records in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications for digitized publications in the Law Library of Congress’s Legal Reports collection.


The case study The Creation of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency: Congress’s Role as Overseer, published by the Joint Military Intelligence College, provides insight into congressional decision making on intelligence issues.

Spring 2023


Digital Content Contributor College of William & Mary has contributed 33 Russian language issues of Amerika: Illustrated Journal to GovInfo. This publication was produced by the United States Information Agency to share educational and cultural information.

Flag Manual

A U.S. Marine Corps Flag Manual documents “appropriate use and display of flags, guidons, and streamers by Marine Corps organizations and personnel” in 1989.


A manual for monitoring coral reefs with indicator species : butterflyfishes as indicators of change on Indo-Pacific reefs provided instructions for assessing coral-feeding fish behavior, as a means of measuring changing coral habitat conditions.


The Census Bureau’s History Office has an ongoing Oral History project. Per the website, “[t]he careers of the employees interviewed not only include many key decisions and developments in census and survey policy and methodology (privacy and confidentiality, statistical sampling, disclosure analysis, etc.), but also illustrate how the agency and federal government have adapted to changes in presidential administrations, economic highs and lows, and national and international events.”


GPO and the Law Library of Congress continue to collaborate on digitizing the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Recent additions to the GovInfo collection include volumes of the Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

Winter 2023


The Smithsonian Institutions’ Handbook of North American Indians is a planned 20-volume set that has been in production since 1978. In 2022, Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press released Volume 1, Introduction, the first volume to be released in an electronic format.


Browse the annual progress reports of the Works Progress Administration (1935-1939) and Works Projects Administration (1939-1943), digitized by GPO Partner FRASER.


Boise State University continues to digitize and contribute publications for inclusion in GovInfo, including the 1981 Stibnite Mining Project Gold Mine and Mill : Final Environmental Impact Statement. To date, Boise State University has contributed 29 publications, ensuring permanent public access to these regional publications.


Learn about the Ocean Science Program of the U.S. Navy in a 1967 publication of the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy.


Calling all philatelists! Check out the USPS brochure People and Places of the Pacific: A Celebration of Stamps.

Fall 2022

weather reports

The United States Army Signal Service was established in 1863, and published a daily bulletin of “weather reports with synopses, indications, and facts,” compiled monthly “for the benefit of commerce and agriculture.” The observations and readings were made simultaneously from different Signal Service stations. Volumes from 1872 to 1877 were catalogued as part of GPO’s Cataloging and Metadata Contributor Partnership with the University of Minnesota, and the digital surrogates were harvested from the NOAA Institutional Repository.


Boise State University continues to digitize and contribute publications Federal Government publications to GovInfo, including this Forest Service report on the devastating August 20, 1959 flood in the Boise area. Browse all of the publications contributed by Boise State University here.


GPO continues to expand the congressional hearings collection on GovInfo. Recently digitized hearings from prior to the 104th congress include this 1973 House of Representatives Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreating hearing on the acquisition and establishment of Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.


GPO’s Library Technical Services has added over 2,000 records to the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications for digitized publications included in the Law Library of Congress’s Legal Reports collection. This collection covers international law related topics from many countries, including this report on punishments for those that fled from Yugoslavia prior to 1959.


There’s really no better image to capture the concept of “long-term loads” than a grand piano sitting on a wood floor! It’s easy to see why the authors of this Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) report from 1981 chose this cover art for their report on stress level and temperature tests for construction adhesives. You can read this report online, and browse the CGP for other FPL Research Papers.

Summer 2022


Digitized by Boise State University, the USDA Forest Service Research Paper Fire’s influence on wildlife habitat on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming compared photographs to investigate changes in wildlife ecology over time.


Administrative law encompasses public law created by agencies in the executive branch. Decisions of the Federal Maritime Commission and predecessor agencies for 1919-1987 have been cataloged in electronic format.


The Library of Congress, a GPO partner, has digitized the 35 volume series United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, covering 1950-1984.


Prepared under contracted by the Arctic Institute of North America, Arctic laboratory : a history (1947-1966) of the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory at Point Barrow, Alaska chronicles two decades of research activity.


GPO continues to collaborate with the Law Library of Congress to digitize the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. The Serial Set includes an assortment of executive branch agency publications, including annual reports.

Spring 2022


The U.S. Congressional Serial Set collection on govinfo, a collaborative project between the Law Library of Congress and GPO, includes a number of executive agency series that were issued as congressional documents. Of particular interest to genealogists, the Serial Set includes official registers of the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.


The Congressional Hearings collection on govinfo continues to expand, with the addition of digitized hearings prior to the 104th Congress. Those familiar with GPO’s iconic red brick building may be interested to read the 1977 hearing on the Proposed Relocation of the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C.


Boise State University continues to digitize and contribute publications of regional interest for inclusion in govinfo, such as the 1977 Fish and wildlife resource losses caused by failure of Teton Dam, Idaho : rehabilitation, mitigation and compensation plan. Browse all of the publications contributed by Boise State University here.


Controlling the atom : the beginnings of nuclear regulation 1946-1962 was a comprehensive study of the early history of nuclear regulation, focusing on the Atomic Energy Commission.


Yellowstone’s northern range : complexity & change in a wildland ecosystem, published by the National Park Service in 1997, synthesized research on Yellowstone’s intricate ecosystem to inform plans to care for it into the future.

Winter 2022


GPO and the Law Library of Congress continue to collaborate on digitizing the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Recent additions to the govinfo collection include the Ninth Census.


A 1941 U.S. Department of Agriculture pamphlet helped American households decipher quality classes on canned fruit and vegetables.


Interested in numismatics? Domestic and Foreign Coins Manufactured by Mints of the United States, 1793-1965, digitized by FRASER, documents the numbers of coins produced each year, including gold, silver, minor, and composite coins.

Naval ships

Digitized by the Naval History and Heritage Command, the Register of Officer Personnel, United States Navy and Marine Corps, and Ships’ Data, 1801-1807 includes illustrations of ships in service during this period.

School Lunch

The 1940 School Lunches Using Farm Surpluses publication featured recipes that made use of surplus foods made available by the Department of Agriculture’s Surplus Marketing Administration.

Fall 2021

serial set

The initial public release of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set on govinfo includes volumes from the 69th Congress, the 82nd Congress, and several 19th century Congresses. A few highlights include Art and artists of the Capitol of the United States, a report from the Joint Committee of the Library recommending continuing the American State Papers series, and a message from President Andrew Jackson announcing the death of General Lafayette.


GPO recently released a digitized collection of the government document indexes produced by GPO, or at the direction of Congress prior to the establishment of GPO. The collection includes the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, Documents Catalogue, Documents Index, Numerical Lists, Ames’, Poore’s, and the 1909 Checklist.


This summer many communities in the US saw torrential rain from Hurricane Ida and other significant storms. Climate researchers may wish to compare this summer’s rainfall reports to the rainfall intensity-frequency data made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in this report from the Bureau of Agricultural Engineering, issued in 1935.


For many Americans, the autumn harvest season is the only time we think about our farmlands or visit nearby farms, but farmers must work to conserve the vitality and productivity of their soil year-round. Thomas Jefferson was a committed soil conservationist, and this 1944 U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service publication explains how Jefferson sought to restore the depleted fields at Monticello after he returned from Europe in 1794.


Included in recently contributed content from the University of Florida are reports of the U.S. Entomological Commission, established by Congress as a department under the U.S. Geological Survey in 1877.

Summer 2021


In collaboration with Boise State University, GPO has digitized the Department of the Interior Resource Study of the Middle Snaker, a 1968 regional publication that was not reported to GPO at the time of publication.


The Navy’s All Hands Magazine got its start in 1922 as the Bureau of Navigation News Bulletin, before becoming the Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin in 1942. In 1945 “All Hands” appeared on the cover, and the publication has carried the name ever since.


Prepare for a summer of safe swimming with the Water ‘n Kids coloring book sought to help interested individuals determine which plants native to their locality were marketable for medicinal purposes.


Did the recently released Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena peak your interest? Explore the National Security Agency’s collection of frequently requested documents on the subject of Unidentified Flying Objects


Additional historic FDLP publications have been added to govinfo, including the Classified List of United States Government Publications Available for Selection by Depository Libraries 1935 and 1941Informing the Nation: Federal Information Dissemination in an Electronic Age, and Fulfilling Madison’s Vision.

Spring 2021

woman working

Digitized by GPO Partner FRASER, Woman Worker was a bimonthly magazine published by the Women’s Bureau 1938-1942.


U.S. Patent & Trademark Office offers historical roster books dating back to 1883, which could be used to determine which years an attorney or agent was registered to practice before the U.S. Patent Office.


Taken by Voyager 1, this NASA photo showed the Earth and the moon in the same frame for the first time.

medicine plants

Published in 1930, the USDA’s American Medicinal Plants of Commercial Importance sought to help interested individuals determine which plants native to their locality were marketable for medicinal purposes.


This 1987 USGS Water-Resources Investigation Report offered a method for estimating peak flood levels around rural streams.

Winter 2020


The full-color photographs in the NASA technical report Earth Photographs from Gemini VI through XII are the result of Gemini program experiments that sought to illustrate how orbital photography could further a wide range of scientific research.


Looking for a gift for the military history enthusiast in your life? The Naval History and Heritage Command has digitized The Northern Barrage and Other Mining Activities, which covers one of the most significant naval projects of WWI.


Dip into The Great Lakes : an Environmental Atlas and Resource Book, jointly produced by the Government of Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Hospital Corps

Interested in the history of medicine? The Handbook of the Hospital Corps, United States Navy, 1939 was published shortly before the start of WWII, and would have served as a reference for hospital corpsmen of the Navy throughout the war.


Take a trip back in time and to the other side of the Earth aboard the USC&GS ship Pioneer. Chronicled in four volumes, the International Indian Ocean Expedition covered 31,507 nautical miles over six months in 1964.

Fall 2020


University of Washington, GPO’s newest Digital Content Contributor, digitized a 1947 tri-fold brochure from the Treasury Department’s Savings Bond Marketing Office.


GPO continues to partner with the Colorado School of Mines to catalog electronic versions of the USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report series. Explore a selection in the CGP.


Looking for something to share with young readers? Sharon Finds the Environment, a read-along story from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is available in English and Spanish.


Washington State Library contributes government publications digitized in response to user or ILL request for ingest into govinfo. Two recently contributed publications include Crime Against the Elderly: A Double Edged Sword and Low Cost Bridge Deck Surface Treatment.


In collaboration with the Treasury Library, FRASER has released a collection of Press Releases of the United States Department of the Treasury spanning 1916 to present.

Summer 2020


Census 2020 is still going strong! Dive into historic Census material digitized by the Census Bureau, including A Century of Population Growth.


Collaboration between GPO and the Law Library of Congress to catalog historical legal reports continues. Procedure for Obtaining a Patent under Japanese Law is just one example of the digitized reports available in the Publications of the Law Library of Congress collection.


Read the report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, established in 1980 to review Executive Order 9066 and directives of United States military forces and their impact on American citizens and permanent resident aliens.


In 1878, the U.S. Geological Survey submitted a Report on the Methods of Surveying the Public Domain to the National Academy of Sciences, which had been directed by Congress to consider the methodology and expenses of land surveys.

GPO Access

Explore older FDLP and GPO publications recently added to govinfo, including the 1995 GPO Access: Information for Depository Libraries.

Spring 2020


Check out the first edition of the U.S. Government Manual, published in 1935. You can learn more about the Government departments that were set up over 80 years ago.


Find out about transportation planning in Idaho from the Transportation Plan and Implementation Program, Annual Report, May 1975.


Did you know that Tropical Storm Agnes caused serious flooding in New York in June 1972? Read about it in Floods in New York, 1972: with Special Reference to Tropical Storm Agnes.


Learn about labor laws in Europe before World War I from the Administration of Labor Laws and Factory Inspections in Certain European Countries.

Winter 2019

Lake Champline

Did wood-pulp mills in New York contribute to pollution in Lake Champlain? The USGS investigated in 1905.


Want to know more about banking conditions in the U.S. and other countries before World War I? Check out this January 1912 report from the National Monetary Commission.


Learn how three paintings, including a Rembrandt, were stolen from Germany in 1922 and ended up in Ohio. The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce discussed the potential return of the paintings to West Germany during this 89th Congress hearing.


Check out the Hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations during the 90th Congress to learn more about the military realities in Vietnam.


Read a briefing on compliance to the SALT I treaty before the Committee on Foreign Relations in the 96th Congress.

Fall 2019

Public Law

Get ready to celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month with Public Law 101-343, which designated November 1990 as the first National American Indian Heritage Month, and accompanying Proclamation 6230.


The map Northwest sector No. 10-22, issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1944, was digitized and contributed by Washington State Library.


Dietary intake findings: United States, 1971-1974 reported data from the first Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES) on the intakes of various nutrients by the U.S. population, for individuals aged 1-74 years.


Contributed by Boise State University, this Natural Resources Conservation Service publication chronicled natural resources on nonfederal land in Idaho in 1982.

Reducing Fed Budget

1981 CBO Study looked at strategies for reducing the federal budget for fiscal years 1982-1986.

Summer 2019

celebrate Immagrant

Celebrating the immigrant offers a history of the Statue of Liberty, and information about the planning, financing, and building of the American Museum of Immigration.

progress sempi fi

Learn about the United States Marine Corps in this chronicle of the service branch’s first 70 years.


One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with digitized posters from the University of Iowa.

discover activity

Looking for educational activities to beat the heat? This NOAA activity book teaches climate science through interactive activities.  


Digitized and contributed by Washington State Library, Wildlife Circular 3 describes the implementation of the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Act, passed in 1937.

Spring 2019

historic preservation

Considering renovating a historic property? This report from the National Park Service offers an extensive history of wallpaper styles and technologies, and guidance for restoration projects.


Government publications are fun for all ages! Enjoy this picture book and learn about the mating patterns of mallard ducks.


The Works Progress Administration provided employment for 8,500,000 individuals over the course of the program’s eight years in operation. The Final Report on the WPA Program, 1935-43 chronicles projects undertaken, employment by state and project, and program expenditures.


In 1961 the U.S. Government passed H.R. 5442, mandating the inclusion of a maker’s mark on gold and silver articles. This hearing describes the need for expanded consumer protection, beyond the scope of the National Stamping Act.  


Looking for a fun staff development activity? Learn about wildlife and relieve stress with this coloring book from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.