Thursday, October 4, 2012

Explore Online State Documents with DSpace

Did you know that many state publications are available full-text online?  The State Library maintains an online repository, commonly known as DSpace, which currently contains over 115,000 state documents, with more being added each week.

The majority of the documents in the online repository are the Acts and Resolves Passed by the General Court of Massachusetts. You may view the full text of all of the Acts and Resolves from 1692 to the present.  Other collections of interest include the Manual for the General Court (1858-present), the Massachusetts Election Statistics (1890-present), the Annual Reports of the Attorney General (1832-present), and the recently digitized Massachusetts Real Estate Atlases.

Navigating DSpace is simple due to the repository’s organizational structure. The documents in DSpace are organized first according to the name of the state agency that published the document, then according to the type of publication, such as annual reports, meeting minutes, or press releases, to name a few.  

If you aren’t familiar with the hierarchy of state agencies, don’t worry!  You can expand the list of state agency names by browsing the communities and collections. Then simply search (Ctrl-f) the list for whichever state agency you need. Keep in mind that DSpace only displays the five most recently uploaded publications in each collection.  To view all of the items in a collection, simply browse by issue date, author, or title.

Although not every state publication is available online, the State Library is dedicated to providing greater access to state publications electronically.  To meet this end, the State Library has several ongoing digitization projects, and the librarians at the State Library are continuously working to capture state documents as they are published online for permanent preservation in DSpace.  

If you have any questions about finding online publications in DSpace, please email the State Library at or give us a call at 617-727-2590.

- The Marketing Committee