Search Help

StateReference supports advanced search operators.

Operator Description Example
+ AND searches for documents containing both terms (this is the default and doesn't need to be explicitly used) +falmouth +firefighters
| OR matches documents containing either term boxborough | boxboro
- NOT excludes documents matching a term middleton -sheriff
" PHRASE matches documents containing a phrase "suffolk county district attorney"
( ) GROUP operators and terms to make complex queries "internal affairs" + ("boston police" | "cambridge police")

Searches are performed against the full text of every document in StateReference. Documents that do not have machine readable text are run through Optical character recognition (OCR) before being added to the search engine. This allows our search to surface information from deep within public records.

Try searching for the name of a public employee, official, or politician to find documents in which they are mentioned.