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The state law librarians who have served since 1849 are listed here.
Elias Lien was assistant state law librarian from 1904 to 1911 when he was promoted to be state law librarian. He held that post for a decade, resigning to practice law. He died at age sixty-three on February 10, 1932.
West Publishing Company began publishing the regional Northwestern Reporter in 1879. Each volume contained the decisions of the Supreme Courts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska and Dakota. Beginning with Volume 41, appearing in 1889, West reformatted the courts' decisions by eliminating most indentations of paragraphs that were in the originals. In other words, it compressed the opinions into a few long, ungainly paragraphs that stretched over columns and pages.
At the annual convention of the Minnesota State Bar Association in 1905, the Library Committee submitted a report and recommendations about the State Library. It noted that the library held about 48,000 books, and that it was increasing its holdings of "statutes and reports of all civilized countries." This was important because the state had adopted foreign laws--as for example, the form of ballot and the Torrens system of land registration from Australia. Following the pleas of the state librarian, the Committee recommended that he be appointed to an indefinite term by the supreme court rather than two years by the governor, and that two additional assistant librarians be hired.
In January 1863, the "Saint Paul Pioneer" carried an advertisement for five volumes of the "Supreme Court Reports of Minnesota." The books included cases decided by the Territorial Supreme Court, from 1851 to 1858, and decisions of the state Supreme Court from the November 1858 special term through the regular July 1861 term.