|Gov. Foster Furcolo in 1960. |
Photograph from the Foster Furcolo
Papers (Ms. Coll. 86)
- Committee files: When a bill is assigned to a legislative committee and goes through a public hearing, committee staff will often compile a bill folder that includes submitted testimony. The folder is retained throughout the legislative session by the committee; however its ultimate disposition varies. Many of these records are deposited at the State Archives for permanent retention. If you are unable to find the hearing records or other committee files you are looking for, it’s important to contact the relevant committee to determine where they are housed.
- Example: an ArchiveGrid search for [“Joint Committee on the Judiciary” Massachusetts] yields many results including hearing, legislative, and subject files for the committee.
- The State Library also maintains a small selection of committee records; finding aids can be viewed in our DSpace digital repository.
- Many hearings and formal legislative sessions are also videotaped; in addition are videos of selected hearings in the library’s collection.
- Governor’s legislative files: These files include those produced by the Governor’s Legislative and Legal Counsel staff members and can provide background information on legislation from the perspective of the Executive Branch. Recent records can be accessed by contacting the Governor’s Legislative Office; earlier records (starting in 1964) are housed at the State Archives. In addition, the executive records of Massachusetts governors (1802-present) are also at the Archives. For more information visit: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/arccol/colidx.htm
- Legislative (or “Bill”) packages: These are the original manuscript records compiled for each bill (aka proposed legislation). Passed legislation is filed by its act chapter number, while unpassed legislation is filed by final bill numbers. More recent (past 10 years or so) packages are housed at the Secretary’s Regulations and Publications Division; earlier packages can be found at the State Archives.
- Papers of elected officials: The State Library collects records of Massachusetts legislators. The collections, which span from the early 20th through 21st centuries, include those of Calvin Coolidge, Andrew Natsios, Lois Pines, Foster Furcolo, and Barbara Gray. These collections contain little personal material and primarily include records relating to legislation, issues of concern to the legislator, and constituents. Finding aids to these collections can be accessed in the library’s DSpace digital repository. Records (or manuscript) collections such as these may be deposited at other institutions as well; ArchiveGrid is a useful tool to use to help track them down.