Debates of the 1943-1944 Constitutional Convention of Missouri

This project is jointly sponsored by the Missouri Supreme Court Law Library, the University of Missouri Library Systems Office, and the Leon E. Bloch Law Library of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. At the suggestion of Professor David Achtenberg of the UMKC School of Law, the genesis of this project was to facilitate research of and citation to the Debates of the 1943-1944 Constitutional Convention of Missouri (the "Debates").

There are two versions of the transcripts for the Debates. One version was transcribed by the Missouri State Archives (8.5 x 14 inch paper and consists of 6,168 pages), and the other was separately transcribed by the Supreme Court Library (8.5 x 11 inch paper and has 7,763 pages). In the past, the existence of the two versions has led to considerable confusion among practicing attorneys who have attempted to follow Supreme Court citations to the Debates, especially since few are aware that two versions exist, and there is presently no concordance for cross-referencing between versions.

The version digitized for this database is the 8.5 x 11 inch version held and cited by the Missouri Supreme Court. A copy is also held by the Missouri Attorney General's Office and is cited by them. The 8.5 x 14 inch version transcribed for the Missouri State Archives was copied to microfiche by the State Historical Society of Missouri. It is held by a few libraries. After consultation with the Missouri Supreme Court, its library's version was selected for digitization.

The transcripts of the Debates are 24 vols. consisting of 7,751 pages, plus a 12 page index.. The Constitutional Convention began on Tuesday, September 21, 1943 and concluded on Friday, September 29, 1944. The Convention lasted for 215 days (actual days in session).

This project is greatly indebted to the assistance of Missouri Supreme Court Archivist Joe Benson. Without his help in arranging for space for the scanning equipment and his help and advice during the scanning process we could not have accomplished the project.