Thursday, April 28, 2011

Special Collections Department to Expand Hours for Research

Starting on Monday, May 2, 2011, the State Library’s Special Collections Department will expand its hours to Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. The department is located in Room 55, on the basement level of the State House of Massachusetts.

Department staff members are available to answer questions about the collections at 617-727-2995, or at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brown Bag on Preserving Family Papers

Join us for a Brown Bag lunch
Thursday, April 28, 2011
State Library of Massachusetts
Room 442 State House
12 until 1:30 PM

Bring your lunch and visit the State Library to learn how to apply preservation techniques used in the library to preserve your family papers. This program, presented by Lacy Crews Stoneburner, Preservation Librarian, is offered in celebration of the American Library Association's National Preservation Week, April 24-30, 2011.

To register, please go to:

You may also sign up by calling Reference at 617.727.2590 or emailing

Sponsored by the Friends of the State Library

Friday, April 22, 2011

Peer Violence Perpetration among Urban Youth

Joanna Almeida, Associate Research Scientist at Northeastern's Institute of Urban Health Research, spoke at the State Library's Friends of the Library program earlier this month about findings from a survey that dispelled the myth of the violent immigrant. The results were based on an anonymous biannual survey of Boston high school students administered January - April, 2008 in homeroom classes. 1,348 9th - 12th graders took part in the questionnaire.

Topics included health behaviors, mental health and emphasized multiple types of violence. The students were asked if they had pushed, punched or kicked another student in the last 30 days. They were also asked whether they had lied or spread rumors about a peer.

The survey concluded that recently arrived immigrant youth are less likely to perpetrate physical peer violence than U.S.-born peers. Another finding was that non-physical, verbal violence toward peers does not vary by whether the student was first, second, or third generation or the amount of time in the U.S. A significant conclusion was that the protective effect of being foreign-born and less violent disappeared after 5 years in this country. In other words, it takes 5 years to assimilate and become prone to being violent as American-born youth.

The survey's report was co-authored by Renee M. Johnson, Mariah McNamara, Jhumka Gupta and was done with the cooperation of the City of Boston and Boston Youth Survey.

Statistics from previous studies led to these conclusions:
  • Violent crime decreased during historic waves of immigration to this country. (FBI statistics)
  • Foreign-born youth had half the likelihood of violence compared to those born in the U.S. (Sampson, et al., 2005)
  • A national study found children of immigrants are more apt to be involved in 3+ violent acts than immigrant youth. (Harris, 1999)

  • Latino men born in the U.S. are 7 times more likely to be incarcerated than their counterparts born abroad. (2000 US census)
Naomi Allen
Assistant Documents Librarian

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Financial Crisis Inquiry Report

The State Library recently received the federal document The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report: Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States. More than two years after the crisis began, Americans are experiencing the aftershocks. People have lost their jobs. Many have lost their homes, and the economy is struggling to rebound. This report is intended to provide a historical accounting of the events and to help policy makers and the public to see how the calamity came into being.

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was established as part of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (Public Law 111-21). According to the preface, the Commission was created to "examine the causes of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States" and to publish their conclusions.

The publication covers topics such as subprime lending, shadow lending, credit expansion, the mortgage machine and the bust. It also explains how the financial system worked, how the pieces fit together and how the crisis occurred. The financial institutions that played a part are discussed. The institutions include American International Group (AIG), Bear Stearns, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial, Fannie Mae, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Moody's and Wachovia.

The report can also be found at this web address:

Naomi Allen
Assistant Government Documents Librarian

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Library Closed for Patriot's Day

The Library will be closed Monday, April 18 for Patriot's Day. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday. The main reading room (room 341) and the periodical balcony (room 442) are open
Monday through Friday from 9:00a.m.-5:00p.m. Special Collections' hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m. and by appointment. To make an appointment, call 617.727.2590.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

FDSYS -- Federal Digital System

The Government Printing Office (GPO) offers electronic access to federal documents at a new web site: FDSYS offers the breadth of United States Government information.

Full text legislative documents are available such as: Congressional Bills, the Congressional Record, Public and Private Laws, the Code of Federal Regulations, Public Papers of the Presidents, Budget of the United States Government and many others.

Among the myriad of publications, there is also access to MEDLINE, the National Library of Medicine database and to, publications from the scientific community.

See your government at work.

The Government Documents Staff

Monday, April 11, 2011

Campaign and Political Finance

The Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance is an independent state agency. Its focus is to administer the state's campaign finance laws and the limited public financing program for statewide candidates.

The State Library has many of their reports and their quarterly newsletter both in tangible copies (paper) and online. The tangible documents may be viewed in room 341 of the State House, Mondays through Fridays from 9 to 5. The call number for the quarterly report is: MR 353.21 M3 OI27. The collection starts with volume 1, no. 1 in 1995. The online version is available at

The agency has its own website where one can file reports that are required by candidates:

The Library is a repository for state documents and invites all to visit us in person or on line at

The Government Documents Staff

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vintage Postcards of the State House Now Available on Flickr

The State Library has scanned and uploaded a selection of our postcard collection onto Flickr for your viewing pleasure. Ranging from the early 1900s to the mid 1920s, the postcards primarily depict the iconic golden dome and fa├žade of the Massachusetts State House. Also included are the Shaw Memorial, the General Hooker Monument, the interior legislative chambers, Memorial Hall, and the Brewer Fountain in the Boston Commons.

Most of the collection consists of traditional souvenir postcards, but some are of a more promotional quality. While not available online due to copyright restrictions, there is a group of campaign postcards depicting Massachusetts politicians, such as Governor Frank Sargent and Lieutenant Governor Elliot Richardson. To view these campaign postcards and our complete collection of postcards ranging from the early 20th century to the 1990s, please visit the State Library Special Collections Department, Room 55.

The majority of our collection of nearly two hundred postcards can be found in Souvenir 68, a gift of former State Senator Edward L. Burke. Additional postcards have been recently donated by Beth Carroll-Horrocks.

-- Marissa Sorek, Special Collections Intern

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sculpted to Inspire: Caleb Tillinghast

Caleb Tillinghast was born on April 3, 1843. When he was a child, the family moved to Windham County, Connecticut where Caleb worked on a farm when he was not attending the rural school. He walked five miles on Saturdays to get books from an association library to augment the instruction in the school room. His ancestors were Quakers.

At one time he held the office of school visitor in the town of Killingly, Connecticut. Similar to a school committee member, his job was to make rules and buy books. He held other minor offices. On Aug. 10, 1862 he married Ardelia Martin Wood. Their son, Linwood Morton Tillinghast, was born on July 4, 1865. In the spring of 1870, they moved to Boston, where Tillinghast found a position as a reporter on the Boston Journal. He soon rose to the position of editor.

In 1849, the legislature passed an act that made the Secretary of the Board of Education the State Librarian with the power to appoint an assistant librarian and clerk. This changed in 1893 when the legislature passed a statute that allowed the Governor to make the appointment of the Librarian. Tillinghast was appointed acting librarian by John W. Dickinson, who was secretary of the State Board of Education and State Librarian. In 1893, Governor Russell appointed Tillinghast State Librarian when the Office of the State Librarian was created.

Tillinghast was interested in methods of instruction for the "deaf, blind and feeble minded" and that those in country towns desiring to become teachers receive a suitable teacher's education. He had many friends who inspired him to belong to many societies including the Worcester Antiquarian Society, American Antiquarian Society, Old Colony Historical Society, Boston Art Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the General Theological Library and the Massachusetts Total Abstinence Club.

He also devoted time to the New England Historic Genealogical Society. As Vice-President for Massachusetts and chairman of the Committee on Publications, he encouraged plans to develop the Society's usefulness.

One passion of his was to search for biographical materials for the members of Massachusetts state government. He estimated he had written more than 75,000 letters in this quest. This collection of index cards in the State Library is known as the Legislative Biographical file.

His main interests were promoting education, creating libraries and advising officials in many subject areas. He received only a salary as a librarian even though he was offered other library jobs that paid better, such as the head of the Boston Public Library. He received an honorary degree of Master of Arts from Harvard University in June, 1897 and a Doctor of Literature from Tufts College in 1905.

Come view the sculpture of the state's first State Librarian in the main reading room, room 341, through April 15, 2011.

The Sculpted to Inspire series is sponsored by the Friends of the State Library.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Inspector General Reports

The Office of the Massachusetts Inspector General issues many pertinent reports, which are held in the State Library both in paper and online. The Library has over 100 reports in its collection.

The latest report is entitled Ongoing Analysis of the Health Safety Net Trust Fund and Other Health Care Issues. It was issued during March of 2011.

Another recently received title is Investigation into Vehicle Registration Abuse which is in the Library under the call number: MR 340.9m3 I584 2010. Also new to the collection is Experience of Massachusetts Public Agencies with Construction Management at Risk under M.G.L. c.149A. This report is available in the Library with the following call number: MR 340.9M3 E97 2009.

All the reports the Library has can be found in our online catalog at Look for the icon that states "Search the Library Catalog".

The Government Documents Department