Blue book

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Blue book or bluebook is a term often referring to an almanac, buyer's guide or other compilation of statistics and information. The term dates back to the 15th century, when large blue velvet-covered books were used for record-keeping by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.[1] The OED first records such a usage in 1633.[2] The term has a variety of other meanings.

Academia and education[edit]


Chicago Construction Blue Book from 2003
  • The Blue Book of Building and Construction,[4] was a yellow pages-like buyers guide of company information targeted towards commercial construction, first published in 1913. The guide contains information on architects, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, vendors, and other companies relevant to the commercial bidding and build process. The hardbound book was retired in 2016 and subsequently replaced by a bi-annual regional magazine called the Who's Who in Building and Construction. The prior content of the hard bound book is now completely online and called The Blue Book Network. The company which publishes the information is Jefferson Valley, New York-based Contractor's Register.

Computing and technology[edit]

Government and finance[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

  • Beginning in 1822 each colonial governor in the British Empire was required to enter details on a wide range of matters for that year in Colonial Blue Books.[6]
  • Blue Book (Office for National Statistics), published annually by the Office for National Statistics; contains the estimates of the domestic and national product, income and expenditure for the United Kingdom
  • Any official report in the UK of Parliament or the Privy Council, which in the 19th and early 20th centuries were standardly issued in a dark blue paper cover[7]
  • "Treachery of the Blue Books", the name given in Wales to the 1847 parliamentary report on the state of education in the country
  • A weekly digest of signals intelligence reports by the British intelligence agency GCHQ[8]
  • "The Blue Book", genocide scholars' nickname for The treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916[9]

United States[edit]


  • Blue Book, the Tiffany & Co. catalog first published in 1845
  • The CIBJO World Jewelry Confederation Blue Book, a three-part publication outlining terminology, classification and ethical guidelines for coloured gemstones, diamonds and pearls


  • The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, a style guide that prescribes the most widely used legal citation system in the United States


  • The included Blue Book notes in the 1958 first published book of Ludwig Wittgenstein's collective academic works Preliminary Studies for the "Philosophical Investigations"





  • Aircraft Bluebook, a digest that covers the price and condition of used general aviation aircraft in the U.S; the Aircraft Bluebook Rating Scale (or "Bluebook scale") is used in the aviation industry to rate the condition of used aircraft.
  • Automobile Blue Book, a route guide to American intercity transportation published between 1901-1929
  • Kelley Blue Book, an automotive appraisal guide from the company of the same name; it is the United States' largest automotive vehicle valuation company

Other publications[edit]

  • One of the Blue and Brown Books, sets of notes taken during lectures conducted by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein between 1933 and 1935

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Preface, Tennessee Blue Book, 2007-2008 edition, page vii.
  2. ^ "blue book". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ "A Message from the Dean of Yale College < Yale University".
  4. ^ "The Blue Book Network of Commercial Construction".
  5. ^ Wegener, Ingo (1987). The Complexity of Boolean Functions. John Wiley and Sons Ltd, and B. G. Teubner, Stuttgart. ISBN 3-519-02107-2., an influential textbook on circuit complexity, commonly known as the "Blue Book". Also available for download (PDF) at the Electronic Colloquium on Computational Complexity.
  7. ^ Oxford English Dictionary.
  8. ^ Matthew M. Aid and Cees Wiebes, Secrets of Signals Intelligence During the Cold War: From Cold War to Globalization, First Edition (2001), Frank Cass Publishers. ISBN 0-7146-5176-1
  9. ^ James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916, Documents Presented to Viscount Grey of Falloden by Viscount Bryce, Uncensored Edition (2000), Gomidas Institute, Taderon Press. ISBN 0-9535191-5-5
  10. ^ Marilyn Griggs Riley (2006). "She Decided "Who's Who in Denver Society": Louise Sneed Hill". High Altitude Attitudes: Six Savvy Colorado Women. Big Earth Publishing. pp. 7–20. ISBN 978-1-55566-375-9.
  11. ^ "Books by author Mitchell P. Davis". Goodreads.
  12. ^ "WHO/IARC Classification of Tumours". Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  13. ^ "MSA Yearbook". MSA website.

External links[edit]

  • State Blue Books. American Library Association's Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT)