The State Library serves to collect, preserve, and make available materials documenting Massachusetts history, politics, and government from the seventeenth century to the present including the state as well as the personal papers of state legislators representing the spectrum of political opinion in Massachusetts.
The papers of state legislators are a particularly valuable resource for documenting the General Court of the Commonwealth as a lawmaking institution and as a representative assembly. The State Library identifies, preserves, and makes accessible historical material relating to the legislature and the political process in the Commonwealth. These primary source materials are used by historians, lawyers, students, journalists, and Massachusetts citizens to tell stories about citizenship and democracy.
The following types of materials can be found in the collections in order to document the political history of the Commonwealth:
- Records documenting work in the legislature, especially sponsored bills
- This includes notes from debates, drafts of bills, and correspondence related to bills
- Records documenting committee work as well as work in any special task forces or commissions
- Correspondence including letters, memos, and print-outs of email
- Background and subject information on issues of particular concern to the legislator or the legislator's district
- Material related to speeches, appearances, and events
- Materials that provide insight into the daily work as a legislator: date books, diaries, call logs, invitations, campaign material, etc.