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New York State Documents: A Finding Guide

New York State Documents Collections:
Guides ~ Paper ~ Microfiche
Electronic ~ Historic ~ Help


BACKGROUND

The Cornell University Library has received New York State documents as an official depository since at least 1955, although we have have many older documents as well. Under this original depository program, we were a full depository and received all of the state's major publications which were available for the NY State Library to send us.

The present depository program began in 1989. As a New York State Documents Depository Library we receive a wide variety of documents in paper form. As a New York State Documents Research Depository Library, Cornell also received an extensive collection of documents on microfiche; most documents which the New York State Library received from issuing agencies from 1989 through 1994, excluding most copyrighted material, are included in this microfiche set. The microfiche program ceased at the end of 1994 and was replaced in 1995 by scanned documents on the New York State Library's Web site. New York is cutting back on the number of printed documents it issues and sends to depository libraries. Be aware that state documents that were once issued in print may be available now only in electronic form through Excelsior, the New York State Library's online catalog.

Many state documents have not been included in the New York State depository program in the years past. To locate these documents, use Excelsior. Records for non-depository documents are often indicated in the Excelsior record with a note: "not in Checklist." These documents may be available on interlibrary loan from the State Library.


NEW YORK STATE DOCUMENTS COLLECTIONS


GUIDES

Butch, Dorothy. New York State Documents: An Introductory Manual.
Albany: University of the State of New York, State Education Dept..., 1987.
(New York State Library Bibliography Bulletin 89).
(Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N7 .B97 +)

An annotated list of sources with extensive historical information and explanations of the publications of the state. Written by Dorothy Butch, for many years a reference librarian at the New York State Library. The Appendix (pp. 116-120) contains a detailed explanation of the classification system (i.e., "call numbers") for New York State documents developed by the State Library.

The New York Red Book.
Albany: J. B. Lyon, 1892-1895; Williams Press, 1896- .
(Olin JK 3431, latest edition in Reference; partial runs in other libraries)

The directory and manual of New York State government: executive, judiciary, and legislature. Includes biographies of legislators, judges, and executives and lists office holders and party representatives down to the county level. It also supples excellent descriptions of state agencies and digests of major legislation. Olin owns the entire run except 1893.

New York State Government Information.
[Albany]: New York State Library, 2002.
[http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/citizens.htm; viewed 15 April 2004]

Links to New York State Government Information Locator Service; New York State Web Site; NYS Assembly Web Site; NYS Senate Web Site; Unified Court System; New York State Laws (the text of the State constitution, the NYS consolidated Laws, the NYS Unconsolidated Laws, and the current year's NYS Chapters), New York State Legislative History Research Tutorial; New York State Documents; State Information and Emblems; New York State Agency Databases, and New York State FAQ (Questions about New York that are frequently answered at the New York State Library's reference desk).

NYDOCS: New York State Document Classification System: The Arrangement of New York State Documents in Libraries (shelved with the MICROFICHE 932 GUIDE in the Olin Reference microform shelves) is an explanation of the NYS document classification system.



PAPER DOCUMENTS: ALL YEARS

Cornell's paper New York State documents collection includes documents from our very oldest titles through the newest documents issued this year. Paper documents, monographs, serials, and maps are cataloged individually and assigned Library of Congress call numbers and subject headings. They are found in the Olin stacks, as well as in other subject collections across campus.

Identifying and Locating New York State Documents: General Indexes and Catalogs

PRIMARY INDEXES AND CATALOGS

The first step in locating print NYS documents is to search Cornell Library Catalog and the card catalog. The catalog include entries for individual New York State documents: books, serials, and maps in the Cornell University Library.

If you cannot locate the document in our catalog, search EXCELSIOR, the New York State Library's online catalog. Excelsior includes many non-depository documents not available at Cornell and some not listed in the CHECKLIST (next item).

The CHECKLIST of Official Publications of the State of New York (Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N56 +), the most extensive list of New York State documents available, covers 1947 - March 2004. The print version of the CHECKLIST has annual indexes and one cumulative index which covers 1947-1969.

The online version of the CHECKLIST covers June, 1989, to date. The online version includes annual indexes from 1996 forward.

ADDITIONAL INDEXES AND CATALOGS

The New York State Documents Catalog is a dictionary catalog which provides subject access to documents from December 1973 to December 1991 (Olin Ref Microfiche Z 1223.5 .N56 .D55). Thirty-four fiche shelved in a microfiche binder in the reference book stacks.

The Subject Index to New York State Publications is an annual index to documents issued from 1980 to 1994. It was created to be used with a Research Publications microfiche set covering 1980-1988 which we do not own. It also indexes the microfiche set covering 1988-1994 which we do own (see below). Since it includes "most of the items" in the CHECKLIST, it can be used for print documents. "[N]on-periodical publications" only. (Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N56 .S94; also in ILR, Mann, and Law reference).


DOCUMENTS ON MICROFICHE: 1989-1994

The depository diazo microfiche collection of documents from New York State legislative and executive agencies is Olin Microfiche 932. Coverage begins with documents in the 1989 CHECKLIST and extends through 1994. Some documents published before 1989 may be included in this microfiche collection. During this time, the State supplied only microfiche version of depository titles. Olin Microfiche 932 is filed in the diazo microfiche section on the Lower Level.

Identifying and Locating Microfiche NYS Documents

Microfiche copies of NYS documents are filed by New York State Document call number, a system based on the name of the issuing agency.

Just as with paper documents, the CHECKLIST of Official Publications of the State of New York (Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N56 +) and its online version can be used to identify documents in the microfiche collection. (A duplicate set of the monthly CHECKLISTS for the years covered by the microfiche set (1989-1994) is shelved in Olin Reference in the microform guide shelves as Olin Microfiche 932 Guide. It is easier to use the online CHECKLIST for those years, however.)

EXCELSIOR, the New York State Library's online catalog is an excellent resource for locating NYS document titles on microform. It has the added advantage of including cataloging and holdings for serials that continued publication after the end of the microform set. And the scanned version of post-1995 documents may be available online via Excelsior.

The Cornell Library Catalog has bibliographic records for the microfiche set from 1989-1991 which include the New York State document call number in the public catalog NOTES field of the catalog record. Many records for Cornell's paper documents in the Cornell Library Catalog are derived from NYS Library bibliographic records and include the NYS document call number, providing a link to the microfiche set for 1992-1994, when Cornell also has the paper documents.

Bibliographic records in OCLC WorldCat can be used for locating New York State documents since they include the New York State document call number in the "Class Descrpt" field.

The annual indexes in the Subject Index to New York State Publications (Microfiche edition, Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N56 .S94) also covers 1989-1994 .


ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS: 1995 TO DATE

Most New York State documents from 1995 onward that are cited in the CHECKLIST are available as PDF files linked from the Electronic Access field in the "New York State Library's online catalog, EXCELSIOR: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/xcelsior.htm (The online version of the CHECKLIST indicates if a document has not been scanned). Four computers in the Electronic Text Center have TIFF viewer software installed, should you encounter a document available only in that version. Eventually all the TIFF versions of scanned documents will be repalced by the easier-to-use PDF version.

A very useful overview with help for searching EXCELSIOR for e-documents, using those documents, and the changeover from TIFF/GIF to PDF files is available on the NYSL Web site, Accessing the Digital Collection of New York State Agency Documents. Highly recommended.

NYSL receives New York State documents in formats such as diskettes and CD-ROMS. Electronic New York State documents in these formats are not usually supplied directly to depository libraries.

Many New York State documents are now available online directly from state agency Web sites. Some useful Internet starting points for NYS government information are:

New York State Government Information Locator http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/ils

New York State Archives http://www.archives.nysed.gov/aindex.shtml

New York State Government Web site http://www.state.ny.us/

New York State Division of the Budget http://www.budget.state.ny.us/

New York State Education Department http://www.nysed.gov/

New York State Assembly http://assembly.state.ny.us/

New York State Senate http://www.senate.state.ny.us/

New York State documents are available online directly from the following commercial providers. The Cornell University Library pays an annual subscription fee to make these services available to our users.

LexisNexis State Capital. Bethesda, MD: CIS Publications.
online

Locate the text of the following types of New York State documents: legislative bills, codes and statutes, and administrative codes and registers. Searchable by keyword or by bill, statute, and regulation citation. Also offers tracking services useful for locating pending versions of all three types of documents.

LexisNexis Academic.
online

Click on the "Legal" tab at top left on the left of the home page. Locate the text of the following types of New York State documents: state high court and appellate court cases, statutes, court rules, and Attorney General opinions. Searchable by keyword.


HISTORIC DOCUMENTS

LEGISLATIVE DOCUMENTS PLUS

From 1820 to 1829, legislative documents were published in their entirety in the Journal of either house (see LEGISLATIVE JOURNALS, below). The most important component of our historic New York State documents collection is the bound series of collected documents known as the "Legislative series of documents," covering 1830 through 1976. These series include not only legislative documents but also some publications of the executive and judicial branches.

Legislative Series of Documents
Title Years Call number
Legislative documents of the Senate and Assembly 1830 RMC Rare J 87 .N7o, also Law KFN 5005 .N53
Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York. 1831-1918 1831-1865: RMC Rare J 87 .N7h; 1866-1918: Annex J 87 .N7h
Documents of the Senate of the State of New York 1831-1918 1832-1865: RMC Rare J 87 .N7g; 1866-1918: Annex J 87 .N7g
Legislative Documents. (Senate and Assembly) 1919-1976 * Olin J 87 .N7j [~1000 volumes; shelved in B52 Olin/will be moved to the Annex]
* (Cornell's set stops with 1975. Only the NYSL and New York Public Library received the volumes for 1976.)

Similar documents following this set were received and cataloged individually either as serials or monographs; search the Cornell Library Catalog for individual titles. Cornell has some documents which are included in the collected series cataloged separately as well.

INDEXES TO THE LEGISLATIVE SERIES OF DOCUMENTS
Olin Reference has print guides to the Legislative Series of Documents which are invaluable for locating individual documents in these large sets.

General Index to the Documents of the State of York, from 1777 to 1871, Inclusive. Albany, The Argus Company, 1871. (Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N56 A2)
A subject and name index for Assembly and Senate documents issued from 1777 to 1871.
Annotated Lists and Indexes of the New York State Assembly and Senate Document Series 1831-1918.
(Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N56 .C319 1992 +)
Three volumes. Volumes 1 (Assembly) and 2 (Senate) list individual documents first by year and then by report number. Volume 3 is the index volume: subject index; index of special legislative and executive committees, commissions, etc. by keyword; index to special committees and commissions ... by names of chairmen; miscellaneous reports on individual persons; index to geographical names; more.
The New York State Legislative Document Series, 1919-1976.
(Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N56 .C32 1986+)
Seven volumes. Volumes 1 - 3 are numerical document lists by year. Volumes 5 - 7 are index volumes. Use these to access the documents published in Legislative Documents. (Senate and Assembly), listed above.


LEGISLATIVE JOURNALS

"Journals of the New York State Assembly and Senate have been published since 1777. The text of a journal consists of summaries of floor proceedings, some resolutions, and some bill amendments introduced by the opposite house. The text of the bills themselves is never included." [Butch, 32] These journals are listed in the Cornell Library Catalog; keyword search "new york state legislature assembly" AND journal. For the Senate version, substitute senate for assembly. The Journals are an important resource for establishing legislative intent.

Journal of the Assembly
Format Years Call number
microfilm 1692-1738, 1777-1821 Olin Film 5030
print 1780-1822 incomplete, 1824-1870 RMC Rare Books ++ J 87 .N7c
print 1871-1909, 1911-1999 [ongoing] Olin J 87 .N7c [shelved in B52 Olin]
microfiche 1989-1994 Olin Microfiche 932
Journal of the Senate
Format Years Call number
microfilm 1777-1822 Olin Film 5030
print 1777-1801 incomplete, 1803-1870 RMC Rare Books ++ J 87 .N7b
print 1871-1883, 1885-1984, 1986-2001 [ongoing] Olin J 87 .N7b [shelved in B52 Olin]
microfiche 1988-1994 Olin Microfiche 932


SUBJECT INDEXES TO THE LEGISLATIVE JOURNALS

There are no subject indexes to the Journal, per se. However, the New York Times Index (1851 to date: Olin Ref AI 21 .N56) and Historical Index to the New York Times [online] (1863-1905, 1913-September 1922) can serve as a surrogate subject indexes. Legislative proceedings are often discussed in the newspaper.


LEGISLATION: ASSEMBLY AND SENATE BILLS

State Capital Universe. Bethesda, MD: CIS Publications, 1991- .
online

Locate the text of bills and resolutions in the New York State Assembly or Senate from 1991 to date. Searchable by keyword or bill number.

New York (State). Legislature. Assembly. [Bills]. Albany: New York State Assembly.
(Law Library KFN 5006 .N53: 1942-1945, 1948, 1950, 1952-1994; unbound after 1994)

Slip bills received and bound by the Law Library; these volumes fill the gap between what is available in State Capital Universe (begins in 1991) and the Calendar of the Senate (ends in 1976).

New York (State). Legislature. Senate. [Bills]. Albany: New York State Senate.
(Law Library KFN 5006 .N535: 1844, 1939-1950, 1952-1994; unbound after 1994)

Slip bills received and bound by the Law Library; these volumes fill the gap between what is available in State Capital Universe (begins in 1991) and the Calendar of the Senate (ends in 1976).

New York (State). Legislature. Assembly. Calendar of the Assembly of the State of New York. Albany: Williams Press, 1890-1976.
(Olin Library J 87 .N7e: 1891,1895-1902,1904; Law Library KFN 5008 .A84: 1942-1945, 1952-1976)

Also called the Calendar of Bills. Descriptions but not the bill text. For details on finding earlier bills, see Butch, pp. 34-35.

New York (State). Legislature. Senate. Calendar of the Senate of the State of New York. Albany: Williams Press.
(Olin Library J 87 .N7e: 1890, 1893-1902, 1904; Law Library KFN 5008 .S7: 1942-1950, 1952-1976)

Also called the Calendar of Bills. Descriptions but not the bill text. For details on finding earlier bills, see Butch, pp. 34-35.


RECORDS OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE IN THE STATE RECORDS AND ARCHIVES ADMINISTRATION

The Guide to Records of the New York State Legislature in the State Archives and Records Administration "describes selected records, dating from the colonial period to the 1980s, which are preserved and made available for research by the New York State Archives and Records Administration (SARA)." [Introduction] This guide lists the kinds of legislative records held by SARA. (Olin Reference Z 1223.5 .N56 G94 +)

EXECUTIVE DOCUMENTS: THE GOVERNOR

Messages from the Governors comprising executive communications to the Legislature and other papers relating to legislation from the organization of the first colonial Assembly in 1683 to and including the year 1906, with notes. Albany: J. B. Lyon, 1909.
(Olin J 87 .N716)
Check the shelf; the catalog records for Olin are incomplete. We have all 11 volumes of this set plus additional, later volumes under a different title.
Public Papers of [governor's name, i.e., Alfred E. Smith] (or) Governor [governor's name]. Albany: State of New York.
(Olin J 87 .N7 or Olin J 87 .N717)
Papers of Dewitt Clinton and other governors since the colonial era. Twentieth century governors completely represented.
Annotated List and Indexes of Reports of New York State Governors' Committees and Task Forces, 1925-1985.
Albany: University of the State of New York, New York State Library..., 1986.
(Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N56 C321 1986 +)



NEW YORK STATE HISTORICAL LITERATURE COLLECTION

The New York State Historical Literature collection contains electronic versions of scattered 19th century NYS documents among its 655 browseable and searchable online titles scanned and indexed by CUL. Browsing the titles beginning with "New York State" is one way to see what's available here.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

For detailed information on historic New York state documents, consult
Butch, Dorothy. New York State Documents: An Introductory Manual.Albany: University of the State of New York, State Education Dept..., 1987.
(New York State Library Bibliography Bulletin 89). (Olin Ref Z 1223.5 .N7 .B97 +).


DOCUMENTS HELP

There is no separate documents collection in the Cornell University Library. Help locating and using government documents of all kinds is available from the Reference staff in Olin Library.


Last update 9 July 2013 [MOE]

07/09/2013 - 1:16pm - moe1