Resources in the State Library
State Library’s House and Senate Floor Session Audio and Video Recordings*
The Library maintains a large, regularly updated audio and video collection of House (November 1987-current) and Senate (1993-current) floor sessions (i.e. debates). Recordings are organized by chamber and date and can be viewed onsite in the State Library's Special Collections Department.
Legislative Hearings Video Collection*
Videos of hearings available in the State Library can be found via the State Library’s online catalog.
*Videos in the State Library’s collections must be viewed onsite and copies cannot be reproduced by the State Library. Contact the State Library's Special Collections Department for questions related to the State Library's video collections by phone at (617) 727-2595 or email at Special.Collections@mass.gov
State House News Service
State House News Service (SNHS) is an independent, subscription-based wire service that covers the activities of the state’s government year-round.
Their multimedia content includes videos of interviews and events, as well as audio recordings, organized by date, of House and Senate sessions.
State Library patrons can access SHNS’s database of materials onsite in the library.
Resources Available Online
Massachusetts Legislature’s Website
The General Court's website allows users to search its “Events Archives,” which includes House, Senate, and joint sessions, committee hearings, and other special events. The archive goes back as far as April of 2007, but it is important to remember that not every event listed in the archive has a video.
If a particular event does have a video available, a video camera icon will appear to the right of the event name. Users can search for an event by exact date or date range, or by keyword.
Boston TV News Digital Library
This website is an archive of news content produced by a number of Boston-area TV news programs and covers the 1960s to the year 2000. Users can search the collections through a general keyword search that, when submitted and results are yielded, allows for additional filters (collection, places, date).
Videos (including interviews) of governors, legislators, and committee hearings, and various other institutions and events can be found within this digital library.
C-Span Video Library
C-Span focuses on televising the proceedings of the federal government, but other public affairs programming is available in their online video archive.
Videos can be searched by typing in a keyword in the search bar near the top of the home page, and also by choosing “videos” from the drop-down menu to the left of the bar.
For example, searching “Charlie Baker” (with quotes) yields many results, including press conferences and gubernatorial campaign coverage. Once results are yielded, users can narrow down their topic with a variety of additional filters.
While the videos on YouTube are not as organized or curated in the same way as the above-mentioned websites, the benefit of YouTube is that you can cast a wide net and discover videos recorded by members of the public, news agencies, and by state government that you may not find anywhere else.
Many state agencies also have their own official YouTube accounts to which they add videos periodically. Some examples:
- MA State Senate
- Massachusetts Governors Council
- Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus
- Massachusetts Gaming Commission
Massachusetts State Agency Webpages
State agencies that post videos for the public to view, such as recordings of committee meetings, usually curate them on their webpages.
If you are having trouble locating or navigating an agency’s videos in YouTube, try visiting the agency’s official webpage and look for the YouTube icon on the page.