January 22, 2022

Digitization Project Complete! GPO Completes Digitizing All Issues of the Federal Register

From the Government Publishing Office (GPO):

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register (OFR) have digitized every issue of the Federal Register, dating back to the first one published in 1936.  A total of 14,587 individual issues, which is nearly two million pages, has been digitized.

The complete Federal Register from 1936 to the present is now available digitally on GPO’s govinfo.

Some highlights from the early issues of the Federal Register:

  • The first Executive Order published in the Federal Register on March 14, 1936, enlarged the Cape Romain Migratory Bird Refuge in South Carolina.
  • The first war related Presidential proclamations following the Declaration of War on Japan was published in the December 10, 1941 Federal Register issue.
  • The August 25, 1958 issue contains the Executive Order outlining changes to the flag following the admittance of Hawaii as a state.

“This is an important achievement for GPO and OFR in providing the public digital access to all Federal Register issues from the Administrations of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt to Donald J. Trump,” said Acting GPO Deputy Director Andy Sherman.  “The public will now be able to access these regulations on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and personal computers.  I congratulate GPO and OFR employees who made this project a success.”

“We are proud to announce the completion of a long-awaited goal – digitization of the entire set of Federal Registers that were not “born digitally” before 1994.  With the release of the final set of books, GPO and the OFR have made a great leap in providing public access to an important collection of 20th Century Federal Government documents,” said OFR Director Oliver Potts.

The first issue of the Federal Register came off GPO presses on March 14, 1936. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first document, an Executive Order, to be published. 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. It is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, in both digital and print editions.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.