Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L. (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1958
Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L.
Introduction, pp. [xi]-xii PDF (525.1 KB)
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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