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New York State Government

The Capitol building in Albany, NY, from page one of the Civil List and Constitutional History...
NYS Capitol, Albany, NY

The New York State Library has a robust collection of New York State government materials. Included in the collection are New York State agency and department reports, committee reports, laws and regulations (current and retrospective), treaties, public papers of former governors, statistical data, biographical sketches of state officers and legislators and more.

Listed below are publications that have been digitized from materials in the New York State Library's collection. As the State Library digitizes other materials relating to New York State government, links to the digital copy will be added to this list.

The titles listed below are also available in print copy at the NYSL for use onsite. Additional materials relating to the New York State government can be found by searching the NYSL online catalog and the Finding Aids To Special Collections.

For more information, contact the Reference Desk at 518-474-5355 or via email or see the Digital Collections FAQ.

Biographical Sketches of the State Officers and Members of the Legislature of the State of New York: These publications were written by William D. Murphy and published in 1858, 1859, 1861 and 1863.  Biographical sketches of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, Attorney General, and State Engineer & Surveyor appear first in each volume, followed by the biographical sketches of the members of the Senate in alphabetical order and biographical sketches of the members of the Assembly in alphabetical order. These books also include a list of the officers of the Senate, a list of the officers of the Assembly, a list of the Senate standing committees and their members, and a list of Assembly standing committees and their members. A small group of advertisements appear at the end of the first three volumes.

Civil List and Constitutional History of the Colony and State of New York: This volume by Edgar A. Werner was published in 1891 and includes lists of officers "connected with the public service of the State," a constitutional history of New York State, and the history of development of each department that was part of New York State government. The lists of officers "connected with public service of the State" includes a wide range of state and county elected and appointed officials such as representatives in colonial assemblies, members of the Senate and Assembly, port wardens, school commissioners, commissioners of fisheries, justices of the Supreme Court, associate judges of the colonial court, city mayors, and county sheriffs. Included in this volume is the text of the Constitution of New York (1846) as amended and in force as of 1/1/1891.  A useful feature of this volume is the Index of Names on pages 677-801. This index lists all names included in this volume along with the county or town of residence of each individual.

New York Red Book: The Red Book has been published since 1892 and presents pertinent facts concerning New York State, its political subdivisions and the officials who administer NYS affairs. It includes pictures and brief biographies of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, all members of both houses of the legislature, the Judges of the Court of Appeals and Court of Claims, and department heads and other officials in executive positions in various departments and divisions. It also includes lists of county officials and officers of recognized political parties.

We have digitized 1892 through 1923.

New York State Governors' Annual Message to the Legislature: This collection starts in 1683 with a message from colonial governor Thomas Dongan and ends with a message from New York's 53rd Governor, George E. Pataki in 1996. (Beginning in 1997, governors started giving a "State of the State" address instead.)

Public Papers of New York State Governors

Last Updated: June 29, 2021