Massachusetts Law Resources in the State Library

The State Library has an extensive collection of Massachusetts law resources, including statutes and legislative materials, administrative law and judicial reports.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts Statutes and Legislative Materials

Acts and Resolves

Also known as the session laws, this publication includes enacted legislation during a particular year, arranged in chronological order.

Massachusetts General Laws

Those session laws that are considered permanent in nature and applicable throughout the Commonwealth are arranged by topic into a codified version of the law. The official edition has been published by the Commonwealth every two years since 1984. This official edition of the codified laws of Massachusetts is based upon the 1932 Tercentenary Edition of the General Laws and is not annotated with references to secondary sources and court decisions. 

To consult annotated editions of these laws see either Massachusetts General Laws Annotated [published by Thomson Reuters] or Annotated Laws of Massachusetts [published by LexisNexis] 

An unofficial version of the code is available on the General Court's website

Older compilations of General Laws from 1932 and earlier are available in the State Library's digital repository 

Massachusetts House and Senate Journals

Official account of the daily sessions of the Massachusetts General Court.

State Library print holdings: 

Published journals are digitized and are available in the State Library's digital repository:

Uncorrected proofs of journals are available at the General Court's website

Massachusetts Legislative Documents

Bound volumes of filed Massachusetts House and Senate bills.

Legislative Documents are digitized and are available in the State Library's digital repository.

  • State Library print holdings: 1780 to date
  • Available online on the Massachusetts General Court's website: 2009 to date

Additional Resources

Massachusetts Administrative Law

Code of Massachusetts Regulations

The CMR contains a complete set of regulations promulgated by state agencies.

Available online on the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries website

Massachusetts Register

The CMR is updated by the biweekly Massachusetts Register published by the Secretary of the Commonwealth with new and amended regulations; notices of hearings and comment periods related to prospective or draft regulations; and a cumulative index of regulatory changes for the current year. The register also publishes notices of public interest, as well as opinions of the Attorney General and Executive Orders.

Executive Orders

Rules or orders issued by the governor that have the status of a law.  (See: A short history of Executive Orders)

Administrative Agency Opinions

Certain executive branch agencies are granted quasi-judicial authority and may hear cases and issue rulings.

Many agency opinions are available online at the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries website

Massachusetts Case Law

Massachusetts Reports

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decisions.

  • State Library print holdings: 1804 to date
  • Available online: 1804 to date 
Massachusetts Appeals Court Reports

Massachusetts Appeals Court decisions

  • State Library print holdings: 1972 to date
  • Available online: 1972 to date
Massachusetts Appellate Division Reports

Decisions from the Massachusetts District Court Appellate Divisions and the Boston Municipal Court.

  • State Library print holdings: 1936 to date
  • Available online: 2006-2007, 2009 to date
Massachusetts Law Reporter

Decisions from the Massachusetts Superior Courts.

  • State Library print holdings: September 1993 to date

Massachusetts City and Town Ordinances and Bylaws

A collection of Massachusetts city and town ordinances or bylaws is available online on the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries website

Contact

Phone

Main Library (617) 727-2590

Open M-F 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Special Collections Department (617) 727-2595

Open M-F 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Fax

(617) 727-9730

Address

Main Library
Massachusetts State House
Room 341
Boston, MA 02133
Special Collections Department
Massachusetts State House
Room 55
Boston, MA 02133
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