The Early State Records microfilming project was undertaken in the 1940’s by the Library of Congress in cooperation with hundreds of state and local agencies, academic institutions, and private collectors. The collection totals roughly 2,500,000 pages or images (approximately 1900 reels including at least one supplement). The project covered constitutional, legislative, executive, and administrative judiciary records of the first 48 states from their founding through the beginning of the 20th century, with the end date varying from state to state.
Included in the original project were: constitutions, the debates of constitutional conventions; statutes and early versions of compiled laws; journals and debates of the legislative bodies of the thirteen original states; administrative, executive, and court records; local, county, and city records; broadsides; records of the Native American nations; and newspapers covering British Colonial America and post-Revolutionary development.
In 2016, LLMC solicited contributions from its membership to fund "Phase One" of the Early State Records digitization, which includes content from the states on the Atlantic seaboard (13 original colonies + Maine and Florida) as well as all the Native American documents in the collection. Phase One digitization is expected to encompass 919 reels, roughly half of the microfilm collection. As of June 2017, LLMC had substantially completed digitization of records for Florida, Connecticut, and New York, among select material from other states. Phase One is estimated to require three years to complete.