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Maine History: Maine Documents

How to Find Maine Documents at Bowdoin College

Many Maine documents are born digital or have been digitized. If you would like an electronic copy of the document, a Google search is worthwhile. To reduce the number of hits, try adding in the search box: site:gov or


All Maine State Documents serials and all recent monographs have been cataloged. All Maine Town Reports, now no longer being actively collected, have been cataloged. Because not all of our documents are cataloged, determining whether we hold a particular document can be a multi-step process. Ask us if you need further assistance on finding the document you are looking for.

  1. Begin with CBBcat. Because of the complexity of titles of many documents, a keyword search may work better than a title search. Books can be requested from Colby or Bates through the search interface.
  2. Next, try MaineCat, a database of the holdings of academic and public libraries in Maine. Books can be requested through the search interface.
  3. Next, try WorldCat, a joint catalog of collections of books and other monographs libraries, primarily in the U.S. Books can be requested through the search interface.
  4. Ask us if you need further assistance.

Maine State Documents

Maine Town Annual Reports
The Library has a collection of paper annual Maine town reports (town government's accounting to the taxpayers of the spending of tax money) in the Govt Doc Maine collection. Some date from as early as 1846. The University of Maine at Orono has digitized a portion of the Maine town reports. Both the Library's and UMO's collections are incomplete. Check CBBcat, MaineCat, and Maine Town Documents online. For Brunswick, check Brunswick Town Reports from 1834 to 1973.

Maine Vital Statistics
Govt Doc Maine H 88/15.32:
Earlier vital statistics in Public Documents Series
Govt Doc Maine L40.25

Maine Reporter
Govt Doc Maine J 90.28:

Public Documents Series (Maine) 1836-1940
Govt Doc Maine L40.25
For finding aids for this set, see the box, "Finding Aids for the Public Documents Series (Maine)".

Maine House Journal, 1858-1925
Govt Doc Maine L40.26/1

Maine Senate Journal, 1854-1925
Govt Doc Maine L40.26/2

Maine Legislative Record, 1903-
Govt Doc Maine L40.27

Laws of Maine, 1840-
Acts and resolves passed by the ... Legislature of the state of Maine
Govt Doc Maine L 38.22:

Acts, etc. (Massachusetts) 1692-1780
Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1780-1805
Main Libr KFM2425 .A213

Maine State Documents Digital Repository

Finding Aids for the Public Documents Series (Maine)

For other Maine State Documents from 19th and early 20th century, use Bowdoin Library Catalog and MaineCat to identify and locate.

Finding aids

Index of economic material in documents of the states of the United States: Maine, 1820-1904. Adelaide R. Hasse, 1907.
Main Ref Z1291 .H25 1907
Also available from HathiTrust and Internet Archive.
Index by subject. "The purpose of this volume is to furnish a guide to the economic material contained in the printed reports of administrative officers, legislative committees, and special commissions of the State of Maine and in the messages of the governors to the legislature of that state. [...] It does not refer to constitutions, laws, legislative proceedings or court decisions, except in so far as they happen to be found in the class of documents above mentioned." It does not include reports of bureaus of labor, which are indexed in Wright's Index of all reports (described below). It is supplemented by Friedman's index (described below).

Index of Maine State Publications, 1904-1934, Rebecca Freidman (compiler), 1934.
Main Ref Z1291 .H25 1907 Suppl. 1934
"(Supplements Hasse's Index. Published by Carnegie Institution)"
This 50-page typescript, a supplement to Hasse's Index (described above), includes entries primarily for state departments, boards, institutions, and the like such as "Assessors, State", "Highway Department", and "Legislature", although also for a few subjects, such as "Business corporations", "Maine Dairymen's Association", and "Steamboat inspectors".

Index of all reports issued by bureaus of labor statistics in the U.S. prior to March 1, 1902, Carroll D. Wright, 1902.
Gov Docs La 1.2:In2
Also available from HathiTrust and Internet Archive.
Subject index includes reports from Maine's Bureau of Industrial and Labor Statistics, 1887-1900. This coverage is omitted from Hasse's index (described above).

"Index to Maine public documents, 1834-1867", in Thirty-second report of the Librarian of the Maine State Library for the years 1905 and 1906, pp. 26-90. Subject index to "a large number of miscellaneous bound documents" (p. 8) "from the time they were first published in 1829 down to 1867" (p. 9) in the Maine State Library.
Available from Google Books.

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Brunswick, ME 04011
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