Thanks to CLIR grant - Early State Records content now available via LLMC Open Access

February 2020, LLMC announced that the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) awarded a grant to LLMC (see ).  This grant, combined with the patronage of the institutions listed here, concluded the fund-raising needed to digitize and enhance nearly 2,000 microfilm reels of Early State Records

That portion of Early State Records funded by the CLIR grant (507 microfilm reels; approximately 700,674 images) consists of legal, political, and historical information from 26 U.S. states and territories west of the Appalachians.  As of today, 1,300+ volumes are available at no charge on LLMC’s Open Access service at thanks to CLIR’s sponsorship.  We will actively add more content over the course of the next couple years as we continue to digitize these microfilm reels.

The Early State Records documents funded by CLIR are also available on LLMC’s subscription service, LLMC Digital, along with other Early State Records content that has been funded through law libraries’ patronage.

The Early State Record Microfilm Collection is a massive historic collection of early American law and governance-related documents. These texts, a unique compendium of primary source material, date from early British, Spanish and French colonial times through the American Civil War. They were microfilmed in the 1940s by staff of the Library of Congress. Field work meant expeditions to each of the then 48 states and more than 60,000 miles of travel on pre-interstate roads. The nine-year project, with a break of several years during WW II, involved the cooperation of hundreds of libraries and state and local agencies. It eventually captured 2.5 million pages on approximately 30 miles of microfilm. The collection includes constitutions and records and debates of constitutional conventions; statutes; journals, minutes, proceedings and debates of the legislative bodies of the thirteen American colonies; administrative, executive, and court records; local, county, and city records; contemporaneous records of the American Indian nations; as well as newspapers for British colonial America.  Digitizing the Records promises to transform the study of American history and is essential to scholars and the general public.

Early State Records is one of LLMC’s most substantial initiatives, applying advanced digitization post-processing and valuable abstracts to these primary and secondary sources held in numerous state, federal and foreign libraries, historical societies, archives and legislatures.   For additional information about Early States Records or LLMC, a non-profit cooperative of libraries dedicated to the twin goals of, making available and preserving legal titles and government documents, please see or send an email to