April 28, 2010

Who knew comic books were State Documents?

Over the past year I have been working on cataloging all of the items we hold in our State Documents Collection. State Documents encompass a lot of different things, from agency annual reports, to college catalogs, to maps and videos. The collection covers the whole history of Montana, from territorial days to the present.

Interesting items from the collection include:

  • Inspector of mines reports (include listings of mine accidents and the names of persons who died in mine accidents)
  • State Veterinary Surgeon reports (tracing the history of animal care in Montana from territorial times)
  • Various college catalogs (include lists of students and what they were studying)
  • Legislative publications (from the first territorial session to the most recent session)
  • Agricultural promotional items used to attract people to Montana
  • Maps showing land use in Montana
  • Water resources survey information for all counties
  • State Health Department reports
  • Department of Agriculture reports about the Great Depression years
  • The Montana Reports (cases argued in the Supreme Court starting in 1891)

This is just a small sampling of all the wonderful documents that are just waiting to be explored.

Now about that comic book. Imagine my surprise when I pulled Sprocket Man out of an envelope. After investigating on-line I found that Sprocket Man was introduced on the Stanford campus in 1975 and was re-introduced in 2002. Our copy was produced in 1982 and was sponsored by the Office of Public Instruction and the Department of Justice to help teach folks about bicycle safety.

You never know what you are going to find when you start working with a collection!