As the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, the Library of Congress is the guardian of the country’s memory. For more than 200 years, the Library has produced an increasing stream of pamphlets, monographs, books and other materials that open its ever-growing collections and activities to the nation and the world. Since the 1950s, the Library of Congress Publishing Office (LCPO) has evolved from an office established to disseminate Library news and produce books through the Government Printing Office to an organization that, in collaboration with its private-sector partners, publishes a wide range of materials based on the Library’s collections. LCPO currently has more than 100 titles in print.
The General Publishing Program
The LCPO is the center of the Library’s General Publishing Program, which has the broad mission of sharing the Library’s collections and activities—as well as the knowledge of its specialists—with scholars, researchers, the legal community, and the general public. To fulfill this mandate, LCPO produces a wide variety of materials, releasing more than 20 new publications each year. LCPO publications include:
- Institutional publications and series, including resource guides to LC holdings and collections, as well as works on the Library’s history, art and architecture
- Scholarly works and “trade” books (the latter being books published for a general audience and distributed through booksellers), including books to accompany LC exhibitions
- Consumer products such as calendars, postcard books, notecards, and posters based on items from the Library’s collections
LCPO’s writers, editors, and researchers work in collaboration with curators, reference librarians, subject specialists, and others throughout the Library in producing accurate, authoritative works. For some projects, the staff also consults with outside specialists.
Defined by the needs of their individual constituencies, these include the publishing activities of the Public Affairs Office, the Congressional Research Service, the Copyright Office, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Cataloging Distribution Service, the Federal Library and Information Center Committee, and the Federal Research Division. These programs are supported by their own appropriated and other funds, and in no way are connected with LCPO, the Library’s general publishing program.
Information on the LCPO Website pertains only to the General Publishing Program. For further information on any of the specialized programs, please consult the appropriate office.
LCPO routinely works with publishing partners in producing a variety of publications.