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Official Publications of the State of New York 1974-1983 (Microform Collection)


During the 1970s a company named Research Publications, Inc. agreed to film New York government documents as they were issued so that libraries could obtain and maintain complete collections more efficiently. This collection on microfilm includes almost all uncopyrighted state documents, both monographs and serials, acquired by the New York State Library from September 1974 through April 1983. (The Jan-Apr 1983 segment duplicates depository microfiche.) Included are annual reports of state agencies, statistical reports, legislative investigations and bills, informational leaflets and brochures, newsletters, magazines, and other types of material covering a wide variety of subjects.


NYS Documents are available in the Silverman Multimedia Center at call number MicFilm J87 .N74 .


Individual titles in this particular microfilm collection have not been cataloged at UB, although the University Libraries own hundreds of NYS government documents from the time period 1974 to 1983 that were cataloged and can be found using the UB Libraries Catalog. Access to the more complete collection on the microfilm is through various print tools located in the reference collection of the Business and Government Documents area of Lockwood Library as described below.

Publications were filmed monthly and appear on the microfilm either in the same order as they are listed in the corresponding Checklist of Official Publications of the State of New York or rearranged by time accession number (Mar. 1977--Dec. 1982). Periodical issues, although not listed individually in the Checklist , do appear on the microfilm following the monographs each month. The microfilm reels are labeled with the volume, issue number, month, and year of the corresponding Checklist , plus the range of numbers included on that particular reel. Each frame (filmed page) on the microfilm itself is labeled with an identifying number of the following types:

  • the entry number from the Checklist (Sep 1974 through Feb 1977)
  • the NYS Library's time accession number (Mar 1977 through Apr 1983)
  • the P number (for periodicals)

A multi-step, multi-source procedure is required to identify these numbers and match them up with the item on the film. Each of the following reference tools is useful in certain circumstances but none of them does the job completely.

  • Checklist of Official Publications of the State of New York Lockwood Ref -- Z1223.5 .N7 N5 Once an item of interest is located in the Checklist you have all the information needed to access the microfilm: Checklist volume and issue numbers, Checklist month and year, entry number or time accession number and call number. However, since the Checklist was not cumulated during this time period (1974-1983) and since the title index is not complete, finding something in the Checklist requires thumbing through many issues page by page.
  • Dictionary Catalog of Official Publications of the State of New York Silverman Multimedia Center -- MicFiche Z1223.5 .N7 D5 The microfiche version of the Dictionary Catalog provides more complete coverage than the earlier paper editions in terms of time period (1973-1991) and type of material included (monographs and serials). The Dictionary Catalog is convenient to use because it covers the entire time period in one alphabetical sequence with multiple entries for an item under author, title, and subject headings as well as by agency name. Time accession numbers are prominently displayed in most entries. However, information about the Checklist month and year, which is necessary for finding the microfilm reel, is only found under the "main entry."
  • Official Publications of the State of New York, 1974-1982: guide to the microfilm collection / compiled by Irvin W. Kron and Diane Eidelman Lockwood Ref J87 .N74 Guide (with 1983 Supplement) This "Reel Guide" is used to pinpoint the location of an item on the microfilm once you have a time accession number (Part I) or a P number (Part II). It is strictly a cross-index. The only bibliographic information provided is an alphabetical list of periodical titles with their corresponding P numbers. Our "in-house" supplement for 1983 also includes classification numbers that are useful for the 1983 reels.
  • Subject Index to New York State Publications / compiled by Margaret Rich Lockwood Ref J87 .N742 The Subject Index began in 1980 so only covers about one third of the microfilm collection. It indexes monographs and serials but not periodicals. The subject headings used are fairly broad and include some material types such as "annual reports" and "curriculum guides" which provide an alternative to the Library of Congress Subject Heading terminology found in the Dictionary Catalog .
  • List of Classes of New York State Government Documents Arranged by Issuing Agency / compiled by Nancy C. Eldblom Lockwood Ref Z1223.5 .N7 E42 1992 The Preliminary List of Classes is particularly useful for quickly identifying the time accession number for an agency's annual report or other serial title. However, it only includes titles that were being published in 1992.


Finding a Monograph

From your research you know there was an evaluation of higher education opportunity programs in New York State conducted in 1970 by the Human Affairs Research Center. Not finding the report in the UB Libraries Catalog nor in ERIC and cognizant of the lag time cataloging often takes, you decide it would not be unreasonable to search the Dictionary Catalog . You find the following entry:

Progress Report UNI, 068-4,PRORE,79-70367

Keying in on the NYS document classification number UNI,068-4,PRORE,79-70367 you check both the shelves and the microfiche files without result.

Then using just the time-accession number 79-70367 you look it up in the " Reel Guide " and see that the report you need is the 26th item on Reel 6 of the microfilm labeled Vol.33 No.3 (i.e., March 1979).

cross reference from 79-70367  to 33/3/R6/26

box label Vol.33 No.3 Reel 6

Finding a Periodical

While using Energy Information Abstracts you obtain a number of references to something called New York State Environment , but when you look it up in the UB Libraries Catalog you discover a gap in the sequence of volumes owned. The missing volumes 6, 7, 8, and 9 are the ones you need. Just to be sure, you note the call number and check the NYS document shelves where you see that New York State Environment was in newspaper format at that time. Wondering whether the needed issues could be somewhere else in the library you approach the librarian who suggests trying the microfilm collection and pulls out the " Reel Guide ".

Using the "Periodical Title Index" on pages 188-194 of the " Reel Guide " you determine that the P number for New York State Environment is P26.

entry for New York State Environment

Turning to the entries for P26 in "Part II" (i.e., pages 68-185 of the " Reel Guide ") you can see exactly which issues were filmed each month.

entry from Reel Guide for  P26

For example, vol. 7 no 2 (the September 1977 issue) is on one of the microfilm reels labeled Vol. 31 No.11 (i.e., November 1977). In some years the periodicals were reissued all together on reels that are filed following the monthly reels.

box label for November 1977  v.31 no.11

Finding a Serial

You are using a long run of school directories for a research project but one year is missing. Remembering the microfilm you look in the List of Classes to get a time accession number in a hurry.

Preliminary List of Classes  showing 79-50685

Using the time accession number 79-50685 in the "Reel Guide" you only find references to a couple of the more recent years. Because there was a title change, you need to find another time accession number for the earlier title. By following the cross references in the entries of the Dictionary Catalog you find an entry with the time accession number 79-51020:

Dictionary Catalog entry for 79-51020

Consulting the "Reel Guide" a second time yields three more references starting with something in Vol.31, which is 1977. However, the directory you need is even earlier in time. Scanning issues of the 1975 Checklist under EDUCATION DEPT. you finally find what you are searching for in the May issue.

Checklist entry 75-481

Using the entry number 75-481 you find the Directory of New York State Public Schools and Administrators, 1974-75 on the microfilm reels for May 1975 (Vol.29 No.5 Reel 1).

box label v.29 no.5 reel 1

Further Assistance:

Don't hesitate to ask the librarians for help. The access tools for the Official Publications of the State of New York are complicated.