August 12, 2003
The GPO and National Archives Unite in Support of Permanent Online Public Access
Agreement Names GPO a NARA Affiliated Archives and sets Framework for Collaboration Between the two Agencies
Washington, DC. . .Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin and United States Public Printer Bruce R. James announced today an agreement whereby the Government Printing Office (GPO) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will ensure the documents you see today on GPO Access (www.gpoaccess.gov), the GPO web site that provides free online public access to more than 250,000 Federal Government titles, will remain available permanently.
"GPO is committed to providing permanent public access to the online versions of the most important Government publications. That is why we are honored that NARA has recognized our commitment to making this information available today and to preserving it for future generations by making us an archival affiliate," said Public Printer James.
Archivist Carlin said "Preserving the essential evidence of our Government's work is a serious responsibility and we feel confident that working together with GPO will enable us to ensure that these records will continue to be available for all to use."
Librarians, including members of the Association of Research Libraries and the American Association of Law Libraries, have long been concerned about the need to ensure permanent public access to and preservation of electronic government information.
"This new agreement is a critically important step that demonstrates the Federal Government's commitment to these concerns. We applaud GPO and NARA for working collaboratively so that the public will have access to this valuable information, both today and in the future," said Janis L. Johnston, President of American Association of Law Libraries.
The GPO-NARA agreement covers the content on GPO Access including the online versions of the Congressional Record, the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and other electronic publications distributed by the Superintendent of Documents. GPO Access provides free online public access to more than 250,000 Federal Government titles.
In addition, persons without Internet access at home, school, or office may access these publications through GPO's nationwide network of more than 1,200 Federal depository libraries, which provide specialized assistance and services to local users.
According to the agreement that was signed on August 12, NARA will assume legal custody of the records as part of the official Archives of the United States and GPO will retain physical custody and be responsible for permanent public access and preservation of the records.