Published: April 13, 2016 By

On April 6th, the University Libraries’ Government Information Library and Social Sciences department hosted two representatives from the Government Publishing Office. The University of Colorado-Boulder is the Regional Federal Depository for federal government publications in the State of Colorado. As a regional member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), the library has agreed to retain all official federal government documents in the collection in perpetuity. They provide free, public access to all government documents and offer training and guidance to other depositories within the state. The Government Publishing Office is a legislative agency that prints and provides access to official government publications from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government. They coordinate the FDLP, provide training to depository libraries, and offer guidance on collection management.

During this visit, representatives from the GPO met with the department, toured the collection, and spoke with the University Libraries’ Dean Williams. They were surprised and delighted to explore the vast collection of primary source materials in this collection.  During these meetings, it was said that the Government Information Library at the University of Colorado-Boulder holds many unique and rare materials. A few specific items caught their eye, including:

  • A collection of WWII Ration books in pristine conditionRationBook
    • Ration books were distributed by the U.S. government’s Office of Price Administration. During WWII, civilians were issued a series of ration books which contained removable stamps good for rationed items, like sugar, meat, and cooking oil. Although they were quite common at the time, many of these booklets were thrown away during the celebrations at the end of the War.
  • Original volumes of the American State Papers
    • The American State Papers were the earliest collection of Legislative and Executive documents published by the U.S. government from 1789-1838
  • The Four Freedoms Posters in the Government Information Library study area
    • Inspired by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s historic speech on “The Four Freedoms” in front of Congress on January 6, 1941, Norman Rockwell created a series of four paintings to depict the four freedoms. GPO eventually printed these posters and distributed them to depositories across the country. Many have been lost, but four were found in the Government Information Library and professionally framed and secured in the Government Information study area.