State and Local Documents

City and State Documents in HOLLIS, WorldCat and HathiTrust

State and city names can be searched as Author keyword, but this usually retrieves too many publications of NGOs, learned societies and other entities.  You can do a keyword search on state or city plus department name, by searching likely department name terms and finding the proper name.

Or you can browse the state or city name as Author in Starts with/Browse.  A general and mixed group under just the state or city name will appear first, then the government departments.  For city names add the proper state abbreviation (Chicago, Ill).  Use Standard not Postal.

Many of Harvard's state documents can be searched in HOLLIS by entering: Code: Local call number: statedocuments*.

HathiTrust Digital Library. Each full text item is linked to a standard library catalog record, thus providing good metadata and subject terms. The catalog can be searched separately.  Although most post-1923 items are not full text viewable, many government documents are full text viewable. Search the city or state name as Author. For city names add the proper state abbreviation (Chicago, Ill).

The Internet Archive contains many full text state and city documents. Search Creator: state name, teh narrow by date and topic on the left.

For material not available at Harvard, search in: WorldCat (the OCLC Union Catalog) which includes catalog records from over 45,000 libraries worldwide but largely U.S. Includes books, periodicals, archives and manuscripts, maps, videotapes, computer readable files, etc. Includes Boston-area libraries. For InterLibrary Loan, put the Accession no. (at the bottom of the record) in the Interlibrary Loan Request form.

WorldCat does not offer an Author browse.  The Library of Congress catalog can be browsed (AUTHORs/CREATORS beginning with) to find material not held by Harvard.  The Department names can then be searched in WorldCat.  Hit the FindIt@Harvard button for an Interlibrary Loan request.  Many state library and city library catalogs offer Author browses and often collections of digitized documents

LLMC Digital
Go to Online Services, then Browse Collections.  A rich source of legislative and judicial documents

State Agency Databases Project

Laws, Legislative Materials, and Legal Issues Sources in State Agency Databases

State Legislative History Research Guides Inventory (Indiana University)

Indexes and Bibliographies

State List: The Electronic Source of State Publications. Coverage varies by state, generally 1990s- .

Monthly checklist of state publications (Title varies), 1910-1994). Library of Congress.
Documents (Lamont) | Harvard Depository | US Doc 5002.20
Online version

Searchable in HathiTrust Advanced Full Text search.  Put Monthly checklist of state publications as Exact phrase in Title field and your keywords in Full Text field, adjust date limits.  This works best when you have a particular proper name to search, as you cannot limit by state.

Index of economic material in documents of the states of the United States. [various dates, 1787-1904], by Adelaide R. Hasse. Washington: Carnegie institution of Washington, 1907 (Carnegie Institution of Washington publication 85). 
Find paper copies in HOLLIS by searching: "Index of economic material in documents" (in "")
HathiTrust online version.  Search the phrase (in “”) “Index of economic material in documents of the states of the United States” in Catalog search.
--California - Delaware - Illinois - Kentucky - Maine - Massachusetts - New Hampshire - New Jersey - New York - Ohio - Pennsylvania - Rhode Island - Vermont.
--This valuable source covers many topics.

Analysis and index of all reports issued by bureaus of labor statistics in the United States prior to November 1, 1892, prepared under the direction of Carroll D. Wright, commissioner of labor, for the use of the U.S. Department of Labor. Special report of the Commissioner of Labor ; 3rd, 1893, 376 pp.
Online Version

Index of all reports issued by Bureaus of Labor Statistics in the United States, prior to March 1, 1902 / prepared under the direction of Carroll D. Wright ; for the use of the United States Department of Labor. Washington : G.P.O., 1902, 287 p.
Online Version

Report on the statistics of labor. Boston. Department of Labor and Industries. Division of Statistics, 1869-1924:
Google Books version

Look for specialized subject bibliographies in the HOLLIS Catalog: Search, for example, <"government publications" Chicago bibliography> as a  Subject Keyword search..  The term Bibliography MUST be searched as a Subject keyword: Change Limit to: anywhere to Limit to: subject.

Books describing state documents can be useful. Search in HOLLIS/WorldCat: State government publications -- United States -- Bibliography.

City Documents

Index to Current Urban Documents, 1972-1992
Tufts has the online version.

City-Data. Largely post-1990s information.

The Municipal year book, 1934- . Washington: International City Management Association.
HathiTrust Full Text (1934-2007)

County and city data book. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1947- .
Latest edition in Reference; backfile in stacks.  Includes number and % of work force in manufacturing
Online version
Online version
2007 and 2000 ed.

Cities supplement, Statistical abstract of the United States: selected data for cities having 25,000 or more inhabitants in 1940. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, 1944, 47 p.
HOLLIS record

Digitized Collections

The overlapping lists in these four websites provide access to local digital collections:

Local Research Guides

University, state and city libraries may have research guides for state and local government publications. Go to local library websites and look for Research Guides

New York City Documents
Chicago Research Guide: Primary Sources/Stats
Chicago Government Information

In Hathitrust catalog search you can search keywords: police report, and Limit To: Full view only.  On the left side of the Results page, you can limit to Place of Publication: United States.  Be careful with date limitations.  If you want a report for 1950, the report series may have started in, say, 1923, and 1923 will be the date on the HathiTrust record.

City documents not at Harvard can be requested via Interlibrary Loan. Often the best source is the local state or city library catalog.  Finding city documents not at Harvard can be complicated, so ask me if this comes up. 

Public documents of Massachusetts

State Library of Massachusetts has a vast collection of digitized documents in its DSpace collection.

Public documents of Massachusetts. Boston : Secretary of the Commonwealth, 1858- 
Google Books version
HathiTrust Version 1835, 1845, 1857, 1863-1918

Documents are arranged by number (examples):

  • Board of Charity 17
  • District Police reports: 32
  • Board of police for Fall River (1895- ) 58
  • Board of police for Boston 49
  • Annual reports concerning prison labor 41
  • Commissioners of Prisons  13

Others are listed in:
Catalogue of annual reports contained in the Massachusetts public documents; also of special reports and papers for 1898-1899. Prepared by the Massachusetts Library Club and issued by the Massachusetts State Library. Boston, A.L.A. Publishing Board, 1901.
Google Books version

Preceded by:
Documents submitted to the General Court. Boston : s.n., -1857 (Boston : William White, Printer to the State)  (We have 1846-1856)
(General Court is the legislature)

Index and guide to Massachusetts State legislative documents, 1802-1882. Compiled by Francis X. Blouin, Jr. Boston, Massachusetts State Library, 1972, 186 l.

Index to Massachusetts legislative documents, 1883-1899, by Leonard Adams. Amherst, Mass. : University Library, University of Massachusetts, 1994, 214 p.

Documents of the City of Boston

Oscar Handlin offers a valuable overview of Boston documents on pp. p. 297-362 in:
Boston’s immigrants, 1790-1880 : a study in acculturation. Rev. and enl. ed., 50th anniversary ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1991, xvii, 382 p.
HOLLIS Record 1991 ed.
HOLLIS Record 1979 rev. ed.
HOLLIS Record  1959 rev. ed.

Documents of the City of Boston
HathiTrust Version 1836 1837,1850,1845, 1853-1922
HOLLIS Record 1838-1899

And also use the index
Boston City documents – Index 1834-1886
HathiTrust Version

A HOLLIS search on "Documents of the City of Boston" yields much additional material, as does a HathiTrust catalog search on Author: Boston and Keyword: Documents.

Boston (City) Departmental Reports

Boston Government History 

Boston Street and Place Names 

Boston's Annexed Towns and Some Neighborhood Resources