Monday, February 25, 2013

The Courageous Men of the 104th Infantry Regiment

Detail of Richard Andrew’s  “Decoration of the Colors of the 104th United States Infantry,”
painted in the State House in 1927.
If you’ve ever visited the Massachusetts State House, you’ll know the halls are filled with wonderful works of art.  Portraits, plaques, murals, and sculptures throughout the building all pay homage to notable people and events in Massachusetts history.

A large mural on the third floor features a group of WWI era soldiers standing with two flags.   The men are from the 104th infantry regiment of the 26th “Yankee” Division, and in this painted scene they become the first American military unit to have its colors (flag) decorated by a foreign government.

French corps commander General Fenelon Passaga awarded the decoration for the unit’s exceptional bravery during the Battle of Apremont on April 20, 1918.  “I am proud to decorate the flag of a regiment which has shown such fortitude and courage,” he said.  “I am proud to decorate the flag of a nation which has come to aid in the fight for liberty.”

Almost 10 years after the decoration ceremony, a reenactment was held at Camp Devens in  Ayer, Massachusetts. 
This photograph of the scene served as inspiration for the mural.

Julian T. Martin of Company L,
104th Infantry Regiment.
The State Library of Massachusetts is proud to own a collection of over 8,000 portraits of World War I soldiers from the Yankee Division, including many men from the 104th infantry.  Part of the collection was recently uploaded to our digital repository, and anyone can browse the online collection for soldiers with last names from O to Z.  Click here to see the DSpace collection of World War I photographs, or visit the State Library’s Special Collections department to request to see photographs in person.   The Library also has many materials on the history of the Yankee Division, including select regimental histories, newsletters, newspaper clippings, calendars of record, and more.

The mural of the 104th Infantry Regiment is located on the third floor between the Senate Leader and Senate Clerk’s offices, opposite the entrance to the House of Representatives.  The State Library is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.

Bianca Hezekiah
Reference Department

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Small Document at the State Library of Massachusetts

The State Library has a wide variety of documents especially Massachusetts documents. When I was shelving recently, I discovered a parking voucher, the smallest document I have ever handled (4" x 4").  The words, “Guest of Massachusetts” and the years 1630 and 1930, were written on it. It looks like it allowed for one guest to park on the State House grounds.  Since Boston and the Massachusetts General Court (another name for the Massachusetts Legislature) both celebrated its 300th anniversary in 1930 perhaps it was a guest parking for these events.  The document was issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public works and its call number is MR 629.2M3 D41g. 

Take a look at this other document that relates to the 300th year anniversary;qtype=keyword;locg=111

Naomi Allen
Reference Librarian

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

North American Industry Classification System

Classifying economic activity, by statistical agencies, has been a standard of the United States Government since the 1930’s.  It was known as the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC).   In 1997 Mexico and Canada joined with the United States in a statistical collaboration, and the name was changed to NAICS (pronounced nakes), the North American Industry Classification System.  Every five (5) years a new version of the NAICS manual is released.  The 2012 edition has included changes between 2007 and 2012.

Statistical agencies use NAICS to classify businesses so that the collection, analysis, tabulation, presentation and publication of data related to the economy can be produced.  There are definitions for each industry as well as background information which allows for common definitions and analyses for the three (3) countries.  A single physical location is classified by the primary business activity taking place.  Changes in the economy have resulted in the addition of coverage of both the information and service sectors and factory less production.
The NAICS numbering system has a  two to six-digit classification system.  United States industries have a six digit code.   An example of a NAICS code, if you were looking for bagels made in a commercial bakery would be:

311      Food Manufacturing
  3118     Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing
     311812     Commercial Bakeries 

The NAICS volume is available in the State Library, room 341 of the State House at the Reference Desk.  It is also available on our public access computers at

Monday, February 11, 2013

Item of the Month for February 2013

One of the main reasons people visit the State Library is their wish to conduct legislative history. Staff at the Reference Desk give them a written outline from our website and guide them through the process.

A reference source, Handbook of Legal Research in Massachusetts can serve as a valuable companion to the above, particularly if the researcher wishes to learn in-depth about the process. Chapter three, “Massachusetts Legislative Procedure and History,” written by the book’s editor Mary Ann Neary of the Boston College Law School, provides detailed information about how a bill does or does not become law.

Other Chapters, written by experts in their fields, include two by the Honorable Margot Botsford, Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.  These are entitled: “statutes and session laws,” and “the judicial system.” A third by Judge Botsford and Karen Dean-Smith, is “the Massachusetts constitution and structure of government.”

Brian Harkins of the Social Law Library has written “electronic legal research.” Other chapters include overviews of “municipal law” and “administrative law.”

The library owns the third edition of this source and it contains a 2012 supplement. The publisher is MCLE, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.

Visit us here in the State Library to use this source.

Pamela W. Schofield
Legislative Reference Librarian
State Library of Masaschusetts

Monday, February 4, 2013

Recent Document Acquisitions Regarding the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Investigation

The State Library recently acquired the final report for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the William A. Hinton State Laboratory. The 11 page report was completed on November 23rd, 2012 and submitted on November 30th by the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL). The APHL was asked by the Mass. Dept. of Public Health to conduct an assessment after a breach in security procedures and alleged criminal activity at the laboratory. The report includes the association’s assessment background, process, findings, and their recommendations.

In addition to this report, the library has also acquired the 101 page document, submitted by John Verner, Chief of the Criminal Bureau and Assistant Attorney General, concerning the criminal investigation of alleged misconduct at the State Laboratory. The document includes witness interviews and a series of police reports based on these interviews.

To download these documents from the library’s DSpace digital repository, please click on the following hyperlinks:

Final Report for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health and William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute.

Letter from John Verner, Chief of the Criminal Bureau and Assistant Attorney General, to C. Samuel Sutter, Bristol County District Attorney, regarding the criminal investigation of potential misconduct by chemist Annie Dookhan at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory in Jamaica Plain.

Kaitlin Connolly
Library Technician, Reference Dept.