The State of Wisconsin Blue Book remains the primary one-volume reference source about the state, documenting the organization of the state’s three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial).
Typically, each volume includes extensive description and statistics on virtually all aspects of life in Wisconsin, including major sections on the state’s population, geography, history, election data, educational resources, social services, finance, agriculture, industry, transportation system, etc. Various useful lists are also provided, such as of statewide associations, news media, local governmental units, post offices, political parties, etc.
Many editions also provide a special article of substantial length, focusing on either a natural feature or some social aspect about the state; for an index of these special articles through the years, see the following lists: for 1919-1933, look in the 1954 Blue Book, p. 177-182; for 1935-1962, look in the 1964 Blue Book, p. 227-232; for 1960-2001, look in the 2003/04 Blue Book, p. 175-176.
Published annually from 1879-1883 and then biennially since 1885 to the present day, the WI Blue Books have been prepared by various parts within the state’s government: Secretary of State (1879-1901), the Commissioner of Labor and Industrial Statistics (1903-1911), the Industrial Commission (1913-1917), the Printing Board (1919-1929), the Legislative Reference Library (1933-1962), and the Legislative Reference Bureau (since 1966).
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