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Michigan State University

Michigan History: Michigan Manual


"Commonly called the “Red Book” (which has been the color of its cover since the 1836 publication),the manual has undergone several changes in both its title and publisher. From 1836 through 1883, the title retained, in one form or another, its reference as a manual for the use of the Michigan Legislature."

"The 2011-2012 Michigan Manual is the second that emphasizes on-line sources of information. As in 2009-2010, this edition acknowledges the transformational changes that have occurred in the manner in which citizens access and use information. This Michigan Manual is presented in two versions. The web version, available from the “Publications” link of the web site of the Michigan Legislature (, provides access to up-to-date information. The printed version of the book includes the historical data that is a hallmark of this publication, but it includes less resource material than earlier editions of the book. Elections results that are readily available through the Secretary of State’s Election Bureau for example, are accessible through links in the on-line version. The shorter printed version is also an expression of the realities of economics that are facing government at all levels.

"It is our hope that the two versions will accommodate the dual purposes of serving as a current resource and providing historic information not easily found elsewhere.

"The presentation of live links to departments, the courts, universities, and local units of government offers advantages over a static print publication. This greatly expands the volume, quality, timeliness, and accessibility of information."

SOURCE: Michigan Manual 2011-2012 pp. xi & v.

Similar reference works for other states

Consult the State Blue Books guide produced by the American Library Association's Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT).

Michigan State University