Genealogical Resources

State Publications & the Swank/Jackson Classification System

Originally written by Craig R. Smith, edited and updated July 1997

At the University of Colorado, the "Swank/Jackson" classification system is used for state and foreign documents. As other classification systems do, this system arranges documents by issuing agency. All numbers follow the "nothing-before-something" shelving rule, so

4-R31
2:966
would be shelved before 4-R31W
1:966.
First Line
The first line identifies the state and the state agency that issued the document.
4-R31W The number before the hyphen (1 through 50; interstate documents start with 61) designates the state. At the time the system was set up, there were forty-eight states; these were placed in alphabetical order and assigned a number, for example,
Alabama = 1,
California = 4,
then came Alaska = 49,
and Hawaii = 50.
Usually, the next symbol is a hyphen (-) which separates a state name from the state agency responsible for the document, for example,
4-R31, 4 = California, R31 = Resources Agency
After the hyphen, the Cutter letter/number serves as a designator for the name of the agency. If letters follow the Cutter, this further subdivides the agency, for example,
4-R31 = California Resources Agency
4-R31W = California Resources Agency. Water Resources Dept.
If there is no hyphen (-) between the state number and the letter/number combination, the letter(s)/number represent a county or city (e.g. 4P26 is for Pasadena, California). These should be shelved after all that state's documents. (But don't fail to investigate all shelving possibilities).

Second Line
The second line of the call number describes the particular document. There are two elements separated by a colon (:).
1:966 The number before the colon (:) indicates that the document is part of a series (any number 1 - 8);
or that it is a monograph, if the number is '9'.

See list at right.

1= Annual reports
2= Bulletins
3-8= Serials
9= Monographs
or
4:29/5
After the colon (:) there is: a publication year;
a series volume number; (if the document is a periodical with volumes and numbers, the second element in the second line contains a slash (/) which separates volume from number information); or
1:9961 = annual report, 1996 = year
4:29/54 = serial, 29 = vol. 29,
5 = no. 5
or
9:Ai7
a Cutter based upon a keyword in a monograph's title. For example,
9:Ai79 = monograph, Ai = "Air ... in Iowa ..."

Examples of state call numbers

	4-H34		4 = California.		-H43 = Department of Public Health.
	5:19/2		California's Health, vol.19, no.2
	1993

	4-H34		4 = California.		-H34 = Department of Public Health.
	9:Ai7			Air Conservation In California (a monograph)
	1971

	9-Ed8		9 = State of Georgia;	-Ed8 = Department of Education
	1:895		1 = Annual Report;	 895 = year, 1895	

Until the mid 1980's, Colorado documents were also classified in this system, as 5's. (There is a title file index to these in the Government Publications Library office.)

States and their Swank-Jackson classification number
(in alphabetical order)
  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Connecticut
  8. Delaware
  9. Florida
  10. Florida
  11. Hawaii
  12. Idaho
  13. Illinois
  14. Indiana
  1. Iowa
  2. Kansas
  3. Kentucky
  4. Louisiana
  5. Maine
  6. Maryland
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Michigan
  9. Minnesota
  10. Mississippi
  11. Missouri
  12. Montana
  13. Nebraska
  14. Nevada
  1. New Hampshire
  2. New Jersey
  3. New Mexico
  4. New York
  5. North Carolina
  6. North Dakota
  7. Ohio
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Oregon
  10. Pennsylvania
  11. Rhode Island
  12. South Carolina
  13. South Dakota
  14. Tennessee
  1. Texas
  2. Utah
  3. Vermont
  4. Virginia
  5. Washington
  6. West Virginia
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Wyoming
     
  9. Hawaii Territory
  10. Philippines
  11. Puerto Rico
  12. Virgin Islands


State Agencies of possible interest to social and family historians

Within each state be sure to look up the following state agencies for possible primary source information, or go to the Home page and use the established links to Issuing Bodies.

-Ad4 Adjutant General's Office.
This is a military office, often in charge of state military forces including the National Guard. They often publish rosters of soldiers and officers. The annual or biennial reports to the Governor often list soldiers names.
-C49 or C51 Commission on Civil Rights.
This agency sometimes publishes information, often historical, on various minority groups within the state. Earlier in Colorado this agency was called Anti-Discrimination Commission/ Civil Rights Division/Commission -- check this with other states too.
-Ed8 Department of Education (or Instruction, etc.)
Early annual reports include rosters of state college and university faculty, and primary educators. Some states have lists of graduating high school seniors who had high grade point averages, (GPAs). In the case of the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, these annual reports provide student and parent/guardian information as well as names of the teachers and staff at the school.
-G74 Office of the Governor or
-G75 Advisory Commissions to the Governor.
These are generally reports about social and economic issues in the state and are good resources for state reports on e.g. race relations, the elderly, and environmental policy.
-H62 Historical Commission/Society/Department.
Keep in mind that usually historical societies are not governmental agencies. Many historical society publications sometimes include historical records.
-H88 Commission on Human Rights or
-In8 Interracial Commission.
Similar to the Commission on Civil Rights, some states may use this name instead. A source of historical information about studies conducted on the state level concerning minorities and women.
-St2 Secretary of State.
Sometimes the Secretary of State publishes information on state officers, lobbyists, etc.
-W89H Works Progress Administration. Historical Records Survey.
A federal/state partnership program during the Depression created to put Americans back to work. This program inventoried government records in county, state, and church archives. Some publications describe government records while others are actual lists of marriage or obituary notices. A great mix of primary and seconday source material.

Other state agencies to keep in mind are the following: These are a combination of medical, registration, and/or examing boards.

-Ar2.4 Architects Registration and Examing Board
-C44 Chiropractic Examiners
-D43 Dental Examiners
-M46 Medical Registration and Examination
-N93 Nurses Registration and Examination
-P49 Pharmacy Registration


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Last updated 22 July 98