Thursday, October 28, 2010

November 2010 Treasures of the State Library: Election Materials

Whether one is researching ballot questions currently being considered or looking for those from years ago, the State Library is the place to do one's research. Copies of Massachusetts Information for Voters from the Office of the Massachusetts Secretary of State present pro and con arguments on ballot issues which have faced the electorate. Those available in the
library are biennial from 1976.

For the outcome of elections going back not just decades, but for the 20th century entirely, one can visit us in person or view "returns of voters" by using our Digital Collections online. This link to our digital repository for these Massachusetts Election Statistics includes results from 1890.

Election results, whether for the six constitutional offices in Massachusetts, (Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Auditor, Secretary of State, Treasurer and Attorney- General) or for members of the General Court or Governors Council, are among the most sought-after holdings in the State Library. These volumes are sometimes referred to as PD (Public Document) 43.

Staff in the library's Reference Department often refer users to Election Statistics to help those wishing to trace a city, town or district to garner the names of those who held a particular office over the years.

Pamela W. Schofield
Reference Department
State Library of Massachusetts