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In order to secure the best results from the use of this Hand-List, it is essential that the Preface be first carefully read.

While it has been the effort to avoid making the book artificial or to complicate it with arbitrary terms and expressions, in some particulars the intention will not be understood without the information supplied by Mr. Belden's introductory explanation.


This Hand-List of statute law is intended to be taken for no more than its name implies. It is not a catalogue, since that word includes bibliographic elements to an extent here prohibited, both by time and cost. It is believed that the list form will prove more generally convenient than a catalogue, with the title-page of every volume of session laws an independent unit.

With respect to legislative sessions and session laws, the purpose is to show every session that has occurred in each jurisdiction as discovered by diligent search, and, so far as practicable, to refer the reader to the volumes in which the laws of each session may be found.

In the historical and bibliographic notes no more is stated than an outline of political changes sufficient to give a clear idea of the session laws and legislation in each jurisdiction.

Whenever the text is printed in roman, it indicates that the particular volume or matter is to be found in the State Library of Massachusetts. Whenever such text is printed in italics, it is because the particular volume or matter is not to be found in the State Library.

Concerning Revisions, Compilations, etc., in order to make the list as complete as possible, in addition to volumes contained in the STATE LIBRARY OF MASSACHUSETTS, and in the SOCIAL LAW LIBRARY of Boston, the printed catalogues of the following libraries have been consulted: LIBRARY OF HARVARD LAW SCHOOL (1909); LIBRARY OF DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (1904); LIBRARY OF THE NEW YORK CITY BAR ASSOCIATION (1892). It is thought in this way that most of the principal statute collections have been listed. When a compilation, revision or digest is referred to as being in the Social Law Library, no additional reference is given. Owing to the large collection of early common-school laws in the State Library, an exception has been made, and its collection included under "Statutes, compilations," etc.

While it has been the effort to record every legislative session and every volume containing session laws or revisions and compilations of

laws, it is too much to expect that the result has been without omission or error. It is desired that readers possessed of pertinent information, will favor this library with their knowledge, so that errors may be corrected and omissions supplied.

The recent report of the committee of the American Association of Law Libraries on reprinting Session Laws, prepared by Dr. G. E. Wire of Worcester, dwells upon the widespread interest in and demand for session laws. Hitherto the literature of the subject has been so fragmentary and scattered as in large degree to be unavailable for practical needs. This Hand-List is designed to meet such immediate demand and interest, although it is hoped that some specialist, who is fortunate in possessing ample time and sufficient means, will soon publish a full bibliography of American session laws.

It is a pleasure to commend the zeal and interest which Mr. Babbitt has brought to the task of compilation. No labor has been too great in the search for information and no detail too small to receive its proper attention.

State Librarian.

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