The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) had its foundations in 1862 with workers signing, separating, and trimming sheets of Demand Notes in the Treasury building. Gradually, more and more work, including engraving and printing, was entrusted to the organization. Within a few years, the BEP was producing Fractional Currency, revenue stamps, government obligations, and other security documents for many federal agencies. In 1877, the BEP became the sole producer of all United States currency. The addition of postage stamp production to its workload in 1894 established the BEP as the nation's security printer, responding to the needs of the U.S. Government in both times of peace and war. Today, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing no longer produces government obligations or postage stamps, but it still holds the honor of being the largest producer of Government security documents with production facilities in Washington, DC, and in Fort Worth, Texas.
The centrality of the BEP to the financial, monetary, postal, and printing developments of the United States since the Civil War has made it a repository of numerous invaluable historic items. At the same time, the BEP's history reflects and provides a unique perspective on the development of modern America. These facts have long been recognized by the BEP, which is devoted to the preservation and exploration of its own past. Some of the work of the curatorial, archival, and historical efforts of the BEP and its Historical Resource Center (HRC) is presented on this website.