in Wisconsin History
Wisconsin Blue Books
Wisconsin Blue Book, 1853 to 2004
The Blue Book has been the primary one-volume reference source about the state for a century and a half. It was first published irregularly, then annually from 1879-1883, and biennially since 1885 to the present day. It was intended for the use of lawmakers, so each volume includes extensive descriptions of virtually all aspects of life in Wisconsin. For example, each volume contains detailed statistics about the state's population, geography, history, elections, social services, finance, agriculture, industry, transportation system, and more. Many useful lists are also provided, such as of lists of elected officials, cities and towns, media outlets, post offices, political parties, and so forth. Beyond this, many editions also provided a special in-depth article of substantial length focusing on some historical event, geographical feature, or social aspect. Indexes of these special articles appear in the 1954 Blue Book, p. 177-182, in the 1964 Blue Book, p. 227-232, and in the 2003/04 Blue Book, p. 175-176.