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SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — A repository of Minnesota’s official documents and records dating from the early 1900s to 1990 are now available to view and search online. The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, keeper of the state’s official documents, partnered with the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library to categorize and digitize the various document types — executive orders, extraditions, oaths of office and more — linking up to 40,000 documents. Search the official documents online at http://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/sos/
The 17-month digitizing and archiving project, funded by a $7,000 grant from The Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund administered by the Minnesota Historical Society, included the digital conversion of 47 rolls of microfilm.
The official documents provide insight regarding state and local government structure and activities, Minnesota business history, genealogy, legislative action and more.
“Digitally archiving and making these official documents more accessible is important to present our state’s history through the intricate and detailed lens of state government activities,” says Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
To find documents, online visitors search or browse digitized reference card sets that are categorized by document type. The cards provide brief descriptions and include official document numbers, which can be used to locate a PDF file of the document.
Among the interesting findings include:
“These documents provide a window into our government and public officials, delivering a new perspective for us to explore,” says Elizabeth Lincoln, director of the Legislative Reference Library.
About the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of StateThe Secretary of State is the chief election official in Minnesota and is responsible for the administration of the state’s election law. In this capacity, the office operates the Statewide Voter Registration System and prepares the official roster of voters for every election. The office also accepts filings by candidates, trains local election officials, and conducts voter education and outreach programs.
The Secretary of State is the keeper of the Great Seal of Minnesota and has the role of certifying the authenticity of a wide variety of official documents, including proclamations and executive orders.
A main function of the office is the review, approval and filing of articles of incorporation and amendments for all businesses and nonprofit organizations conducting business in Minnesota. The Secretary of State also processes all notary public applications; serves as the state’s central filing system for lien information related to the Uniform Commercial Code; and administers Safe at Home, an address confidentiality program designed to assist Minnesotans who fear for their safety.
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