How to Find New Jersey State Publications Online

What are State publications?

State publications are defined as public documents appearing as reports, directories, statistical compendiums, bibliographies, newsletters, bulletins, state plans, brochures, periodicals, committee minutes, transcripts of public hearings, maps and other documents produced for the public.

Why do we collect State publications?

By statute, the State library is a depository library for State of New Jersey publications, both print and digital.

All State officers, departments, commissions, committees, or agencies issuing annual reports or special reports required by law to be submitted to the Governor or to the Legislature of this State, and other State publications of a general informational character, where such reports are printed and electronically produced, shall file with the New Jersey State Library for purposes of permanent public access and distribution one electronic copy and six printed copies.  In cases where such reports are made in electronic form only, one electronic copy and one printed copy shall be submitted to the State Library for preservation and permanent reference use. State officers, departments, commissions, committees and agencies shall designate an individual to act as a liaison to the State Library.

NJ Statute 52:14-25.1, amended 1957, c.99, s.1; 1967, c.162, s.1; 2011, c.184, s.6.

Read more about the State Documents collection.

Searching for Documents

You are always welcome to email the State Library Information Center for assistance finding State documents.  We will attempt to locate the document and work with you on methods to obtain access.

For researchers who are self-service, we have two search interfaces.

All documents in our collection (print-only, scanned print, and born-digital) can be located using Horizon. Horizon records include a link to the scanned copy in the repository.

For documents not yet available in our repository, you can use Horizon to see if a print copy was deposited at the State Library.

Tips for Searching Horizon

screenshot of Horizon catalog NJ Documents search Begin your search with Horizon if you know the publication title or want to browse by department (or other entity). Use dropdown menu to choose a title keyword search or author keyword.

You can limit your search results to the New Jersey Documents collection.

Who is the author? The Department, agency, or entity is listed as the author, not the individual who wrote the document. The caveat is that government entities’ names and responsibilities change over time.  Part of the art of locating documents is determining the history of who was responsible for that function at the time.

Was the information published elsewhere? If you cannot find the report listed under the division or agency name, it might have been part of a department or parent agency’s annual report.

When in doubt, ask us. Our Documents librarians are skilled at tracking down obscure materials. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you cannot find what you expected.

Tips for Searching the NJ State Publications Digital Library

Our repository is growing at an exponential rate and its functionality is under development.  New files are added daily.

  • Our repository search includes all OCR text of scanned documents. Searching the repository directly is useful when your terms are highly specific, such as a municipality, personal name, or specific act.
  • Use quotation marks around your search terms or you will be flooded with results.
  • Use Boolean operators in your search like NOT, AND, OR (capitalized).
  • You can also browse by department (or “sub-community”). Each department page includes a brief summary of its history and name changes which can help you construct a search.
  • After your initial search, you can limit results by date issued (lower left column). This usually displays by decade.  After you select a decade, you’ll have the option to narrow your search further by year.

On the web

In some cases, New Jersey documents held outside the State have been digitized by universities and research libraries as part of a mass scanning project.  You will find many State documents in public repositories like HathiTrust and Internet Archive.  When we identify these copies, we do our best to link to this content as well as our own digitized copies.  Some examples in our New Jersey Historical Laws, Constitutions and Charters collection include:

We also host several highly popular legacy transcription projects on our website as Digital Collection Highlights. These are also available as scanned documents.

On state websites

Some entities publish reports, documents, and public information on their websites and social media.  When we locate documents not yet in our collection, we download them, catalog them in Horizon, and add them to our repository.