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Researching Legislators

A wealth of information is available in print and online about current and former legislators. The quickest route to biographical information is the Library's Legislators Past & Present database, but this list can help researchers dig deeper into the collections of the Legislative Reference Library and other publications and libraries.

Information from the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library and the Legislature

  • Minnesota Legislators Past and Present database. Biographical records of all legislators since territorial times.
  • Journal of the Minnesota House of Representatives, (1994-present online), and Journal of the Minnesota Senate (1995-present online). Journals provide floor votes and indexes to bills by topic and author. LRL has a nearly complete collection in paper.
  • Legislative directories. All the biographical facts in these directories are included in the Legislators Past & Present database.
    • The Minnesota Legislative Manual. ("The Blue Book") St. Paul, Minnesota: Secretary of State, 1871, 1872, 1875-present.
    • Official Directory of the Legislature. ("The Red Book") St. Paul, Minnesota: The Legislature, 1909-Present.
    • Legislative Directory. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Railroads Association, 1957-1973.
    • Toensing, W.F. (Waldemar Frank). Minnesota Congressmen, Legislators, and Other Elected Officials: An Alphabetical Check List, 1849-1971. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1971.
  • Legislative District Clipping Files, 1971-Present. These files of mainly newspaper articles are available in the Library on microfiche, in paper files, and in electronic files, depending on the date. Articles on legislators after they left office may be found in the Library's Personality Files.
  • Legislative Time Capsule. Discover information on the sessions in which a member served, including leadership data, committee membership, and some member seating charts.
  • Legislative Voting Records and Ratings. There are no official compilations of voting records. Interest groups sometimes compile voting records on all bills covering a specific subject area.
  • Library Catalog. There may be books by, about, or otherwise connected to former members in our collection.
  • Official Web pages for current legislators. House, Senate.

Resources from the Minnesota Historical Society

Minnesota County and City Historical Societies, Research Centers, and Libraries

  • Libraries. Contact the libraries in the area where the member served to determine if they have collected information on them.
  • Minnesota Historical Organizations. Determine what county/counties the member represented, then contact the corresponding historical organizations to determine if they have collected information on them.

Other

  • Minnesota Reflections. Photographs of former members may be included, or references to legislators in scanned publications.
  • Politics in Minnesota: the Directory. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Political Press Inc., 1995-Present. In addition to biographical information on legislators, the annotations include descriptions of the districts they represent.

Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, 645 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN  55155