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Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L. (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1958
(1958)

Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L.
Introduction,   pp. [xi]-xii PDF (525.1 KB)


Page [xi]


Introduction
p   ERIODICALLY someone raises the question of why Wiscon-
    sin publishes a biennial Blue Book and why it contains the
material included in it. The Blue Book has become a tradition.
It was just 80 years ago, in 1878, that the name Blue Book was
given to it although a forerunning document had been published
for a quarter of a century before. Its form and content have
remained essentially the same throughout these 80 years al-
though constant effort has been made to improve it within the
general scope of the objectives of the volume which are to pro-
vide a complete and accurate picture of state government.
  The Wisconsin Blue Book originated in 1853 as a mere manual
of rules, customs, precedents and forms for the use of the
assembly. Ten years later it became a legislative manual for
both houses containing the rules and precedents of the senate
and assembly prepared by the chief clerks of both houses. With
the 1863 edition other material, such as election statistics, names
of federal officials, post offices appeared and beginning in 1878
the name Blue Book was applied to it.
  From its inception until 1885 it was published annually, but
since that date it has appeared biennially. Through 1937 it was
released in the odd-numbered years, but beginning in 1940 it
came out in even-numbered years. From 1853 to 1865 it was
edited by the chief clerks of the legislature; from 1866 to 1903
by the Secretary of State; from 1903 to 1913 by the Commissioner
of Labor and from 1913 to 1919 by the Industrial Commis-
sion. In 1919 the editing was transferred to the Printing Board
where it remained until 1931 when it was transferred to the
Legislative Reference Library, where it has been ever since.
   The Blue Book as a legislative manual was a small book, but
when it began to include other data, its size increased until in


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