Series 240

Secretary of State Public documents serial set, i 1896-1956.

15.00 cubic feet and 92 microfilm reels

These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

See history of the records' creator.

Summary of Records

All Utah state government agencies submitted biennial reports to the governor or to the legislature. These were bound together and published as the "official public documents" of the state of Utah. Included are reports from all major state commissions, boards, and departments that functioned during this time. Reports summarize the activities of each agency over the biennium, and they often include statistical or other information in their appendices. Regulatory agencies often included summaries or text of hearings or decisions in their reports. Copies of these reports may be found in each separate agency.

Scope and Content

From the time of statehood in 1896, and continuing until 1956, biennial reports of Utah's state government agencies were submitted either to the Governor or to the Legislature and then collected, bound together, and published as the PUBLIC DOCUMENTS SERIAL SET. It was the duty of the Secretary of State to "see to the uniformity of their size, quality of paper, style of type, and to arrange for their publication". Any reports of the Supreme Court or from the Legislature were specifically exempted from inclusion in the series. (76 Compiled Laws of Utah, 1907, Chapter 2, Sections 244-46.)
Reports were submitted by all of the state's major elected officials and each of the regular departments, boards, and commissions found in state government at the time. A few of these reports were never published in the serial set, and the reasons for their exclusion are not clear. Some contain separate sections for the various bureaus and divisions that were part of the largerdepartment.
Identification of individual reports is not always consistent from year to year. Since many departments were regulated by separate commissions or boards, these bodies often formally submitted the report for the agency. Reports are then identified as that of the specific commission or board. In the earlier years, the tendency sometimes was to identify the report as that of a specific official as opposed to that of a whole department. In both cases the report is really concerned with the activities of the department supervised.
Report dates correspond to the dates of the fiscal year. Initially this was identical to the calendar year, but this changed first in 1905, to December 1, and again in 1925. to July 1. In the case of the Industrial Commission, several reports were issued in each biennium, which correspond to specific functions or programs supervised by the agency. Reports of previously, independent agencies were incorporated as part of the Commission's in 1917.
Thehistory and evolution of all major agencies of the state government can clearly be followed in the series. The wealth of information provided lay agencies, particularly in reports submitted before the 1920s, makes this series a valuable research resource. Most of them routinely included detailed information about their activities and programs, often complete with supporting statistics. For example, it is possible to find measurements of stream flows, lists of routine expenditures, and lists of applications to appropriate water reports of the State Engineer. Reports of the Superintendent of Public Instruction might include lists of teachers certified, lists of normal scholarships granted, and lists of superintendents appointed in a given year, along with information about individual school districts.
Reports of other agencies, particularly those with regulatory authority, contain summaries, or even the full text, of important decisions and hearings. The opinions of the AttorneyGeneral are included in many of the reports from that office, while the Industrial Commission's reports routinely include summaries of decisions reached at their hearings. The tendency for most agencies to include less statistical information and to report on their activities in a more general way began in the 1920s. Reports issued in later years contain much less detailed information. After 1956, the series was discontinued.



The PUBLIC DOCUMENTS SERIAL SET is arranged chronologically by the year in which the reports were issued. Each year, as the reports were published, they received a consecutive number and were divided into two or more volumes, identified as "parts". The order in which the reports were numbered seems to have been initially based loosely upon some idea of agency hierarchy. Later, in the teens and 20s, an alphabetical arrangement was followed, which gave way in turn to a more random placement.

Additional Forms

This series is available on microfilm.

Access Restrictions

This series is classified as Public.

Use Restrictions

These records are available for reproduction and use.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Acquisition Information

These records were acquired from the creating agency through established retention schedules.

Processing Information

The PUBLIC DOCUMENTS SERIAL SET was completely microfilmed by the State Archives in 1968. Some minor refilming of the second volume of the reports from 1905-06 was required. Archival processing, including production of the name index, was completed in 1988 by Val Wilson; the index was edited, reformatted, and posted online in 2002.

Other Finding Aids

Indexes: An electronic index to the agency name, date of report, assigned report number, and reel on which the report is located is available, covering from 1896 thru 1956. View index.

Related Material

Commission registers from the Secretary of State, Series 352, contain many of the individual commissions represented by the compilations in this series.
Election papers from the Lieutenant Governor, Series 364, are represented in this series by short abstracts of the election returns.
Compiled digest of administrative reports from the Secretary of State, Series 3530, includes annual reports for the period immediately following the termination of the public documents

Container List

IndexIndex from 1896-1956
1111896, Nos. 1 to 17
2121897-1898, Nos. 1 to 11 (p.27)
3121897-1898, Nos. 11 (p.28) to 25
4131899-1900, Nos. 1 to 20 (p.31)
5131899-1900, Nos. 20 (p.30) to No. 30
5141901-1902, Nos. 1 to 5 (p.131)
6141901-1902, Nos. 5 (p.129) to No. 13 (p.147)
7141901-1902, Nos. 13 (p.148) to No. 29
8211903-1904, Nos. 1 to (p.141)
9211903-1904, Nos. 6 (p.141) to No. 18
10211903-1904, Nos. 19 to 34
11221905-1906, Nos. 1 to 8
12221905-1906, Nos. 9-10
13231905-1906, Nos. 13 to 31
14311907-1908, No. 1 to 6 (p.85)
15311907-1908, No. 6 (p.84) to 9
16321907-1908, Nos. 10 to 23
17331909-1910, Nos. 1 to 6 (p.200)
18331909-1910, Nos. 6 to 10 (p.201)
19341909-1910, Nos.11 to 14 (p.47)
20341909-1910, Nos. 14 (p.48) to 27
21411911-1912, Nos. 1 to 6 (p.165)
22411911-1912, Nos. 6 (p.165) to 14
23421911-1912, Nos. 15 to 23 (p.37)
24421911-1912, Nos. 23 (p.37) to 27
25431913-1914, Nos.1 to 11
26441913-1914, Nos.12 to 14
27511913-1914, Nos.15 to 25 (p.297)
28511913-1914, Nos.25 to (p.297) to 29
29521915-1916, Nos.1 to 10
30531915-1916, Nos.11 to 17 (p.432)
31531915-1916, Nos. 17 (p.443) to 23
32541915-1916, Nos. 24 to 29
33611917-1918, Nos.1 to 13
34621917-1918, Nos.14 to 25
35631917-1918, Nos. 27 to 31
36641919-1920, Nos.1 to 8
37651919-1920, Nos.9 to 35
38661921-1922, Nos.1 to 6
39711921-1922, Nos.7 to 13
40721921-1922, Nos.14 to 29
41731923-1924, Nos.1 to 7
42741923-1924, Nos.8 to 14
43751923-1924, Nos.15 to 24
44811925-1926, Nos.1 to 10
45821925-1926, Nos.11 to 15
46831925-1926, Nos.16 to 31
47841926-1928, Nos.1 to 8
48851926-1928, Nos.9 to 13
49861926-1928, Nos.14 to 28
50911928-1930, Nos.1 to 7
51921928-1930, Nos.8 to 18
52931928-1930, Nos.19 to 33
53941930-1932, Nos.1 to 11
54951930-1932, Nos.12 to 18
55961930-1932, Nos.19 to 26
56971932-1934, Nos.1 to 12
571011932-1934, Nos.13 to 23
581021934-1936, Nos.1 to 9
591031934-1936, Nos.10 to 19
601041934-1936, Nos.20 to 29
611051934-1936, Nos.30 to 38
621061936-1938, Nos.1 to 12
631111936-1938, Nos.13 to 22
641121936-1938, Nos.23 to 32
651131938-1940, Nos.1 to 11
661141938-1940, Nos.12 to 21
671151938-1940, Nos.22 to 34
681211940-1942, Nos.1 to 11
691221940-1942, Nos.12 to 20
701231940-1942, Nos.21 to 31
711241942-1944, Nos.1 to 9
721251942-1944, Nos.10 to 20
731261942-1944, Nos.21 to 28
741271944-1946, Nos.1 to 8
751311944-1946, Nos.9 to 24
761321944-1946, Nos.25 to 34
771331946-1948, Nos.1 to 7
781341946-1948, Nos.8 to 22
791351946-1948, Nos.23 to 34
801361948-1950, Nos.1 to 7
811411948-1950, Nos.8 to 23
821421948-1950, Nos.24 to 34
831431950-1952, Nos.1 to 10
841441950-1952, Nos.11 to 23
851451950-1952, Nos.24 to 33
861461952-1954, Nos.1 to 14
871511952-1954, Nos.15 to 35
881521952-1954, Nos.36 to 48
891531954-1956, Nos.1 to 12
901541954-1956, Nos.13 to 35
911551954-1956, Nos.36 to 52