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New York State Documents: A Finding Guide: Background

Historical background on New York State documents with details on finding and viewing them in various formats (paper, microfiche, and electronic/online). Click on the TABS to access each section.


The Cornell University Library has received New York State documents as an official depository since at least 1955, although we have have many older documents as well. Under this original depository program, we were a full depository and received all of the state's major publications which were available for the NY State Library to send us.

The present depository program began in 1989. As a New York State Documents Depository Library we receive a wide variety of documents in paper form. As a New York State Documents Research Depository Library, Cornell also received an extensive collection of documents on microfiche; most documents which the New York State Library received from issuing agencies from 1989 through 1994, excluding most copyrighted material, are included in this microfiche set. The microfiche program ceased at the end of 1994 and was replaced in 1995 by scanned documents on the New York State Library's Web site. New York is cutting back on the number of printed documents it issues and sends to depository libraries. Be aware that state documents that were once issued in print may be available now only in electronic form through Excelsior, the New York State Library's online catalog.

Many state documents have not been included in the New York State depository program in the past. To locate these documents, use Excelsior. Records for non-depository documents are often indicated in the Excelsior record with a note: "not in Checklist." If we do not own these documents, they may be available on interlibrary loan from the State Library.

Reference Help

Michael Engle
106 Olin Library
(607) 255-1884
Cornell University Library

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