The legislature has decided to stop the presses on a 130-year old basic state reference book.
Secretary of State James Kirkpatrick, who claimed Irish ancestry, turned the covers of the Blue Book green. Once, to honor the University of Missouri, the Blue Book was Gold and Black. For the nation’s Bicentennial, it was red, white and blue. Judy Moriarity turned it into the “mauve book” for her only edition. But for most of its existence the Official State Manual has been the Blue Book.
But future editions will only be available in an electronic format. Senator Kevin Engler of Farmington says it’s time to quit spending money on a book few people want. “We’re spending hundreds sof thousands of dollars while we’re cutting the budget and firing people…I didn’t take mine this year and I haven’t had one request for them,” he says
It began as the 72-page State Almanac aind Official Directory of Missouri, published by Secretary of Sate Michael McGrath in 1878. http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/statepub&CISOPTR=99551&REC=1
The first actual Official Manual was for 1889-90. It was 243 pages. http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/statepub&CISOPTR=36011&REC=14
Unless the legislature changes its mind next year, the last Blue Book in book form will be Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s 1484 page volume for 2009-2010.
Carnahan’s Digital Heritage web site has copies of all of the state manuals back to the original Almanac and Official Directory. http://cdm.sos.mo.gov/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/statepub&CISOSORT=title%7Cr