African Blue Books

Blue Books

  • Stanford users can find Blue Books online, see Colonial Africa in official statistics, 1821-1953: African blue books, 1821-1953.
  • To find Blue Books in print at Stanford, use Searchworks with the country name as Author and "Blue Book" as the title. Be sure "Book" is singular.
  • The Blue Books for various countries contain: statistics, population, names of the Executive Council and Legislative Council, facts on colonial employees & their salaries, lists of the missionary societies, agriculture, education (missionary & govt schools), main publications, transport, imports and exports, criminal statistics, hospitals (includes diseases treated), lunatic asylum statistics, church missions, laws passed, expenditures and revenue, military expenditure, government fees, taxes and licences, court fees, postage rates, land registration fees, average prices, average wages, rainfall records, etc.
  • The East Africa Protectorate 1916 Blue Book, had a Proclamation [K6] by the Sultan of Zanzibar re two people to be Rebels and confiscating their property. Lists of Civil Establishment members from the Governor to clerks giving Date of appointment, by whom selected, annual salary, whether the person was owed a House or Quarters, any monetary Allowances, dates if absent from the Colony for the year, other allowances, date of first appointment. Individuals receiving pensions - amount, date pension started, last salary, age of person, cause of retirement. Some were widows whose husbands were killed in action. Names of foreign consuls, public works (costs for buildings, water supply), shipping - no. of vessels British / foreign, "whence arrived", where ships were going, nationality of ships, ports, manufacturing / mines / fisheries, grants of land, prisons, judicial (criminal) statistics - by ethnicity, executions (all are African), Government Houses (Nairobi, Mombasa), railroads & roads (lengths, construction costs), telegraphs & phones (lengths open, money order transactons).
  • The 1919 Nigeria Blue Book reveals that over 208,000 boys were enrolled in Northern Nigerian schools, while no girls were enrolled. However, over 4,000 girls were enrolled in Southern Nigerian schools.
  • The Center for Research Libraries/CAMP has Blue Books, Annual Reports, Censuses, Legislative Proceedings, Official Gazettes, Financial Reports, Statistics, Laws, etc. on Microfilm. Some documents are available online, such as the East Africa Protectorate, Blue Book, 1901/1902 - 1914/1915. You can also borrow items through Green Library Interlibrary Loan, such as: detailed contents lists for Basutoland, Gambia, Gold Coast & British Togoland, Kenya & East African High Commission, Nigeria & British Cameroons, Nyasaland, Sierra Leone, Southern Rhodesia, Uganda. See the CAMP/CRL catalog for Government Publications Relating to......
  • UC Berkeley has Blue Books, mainly in microform. In Berkeley’s catalog, you must search using "Blue book" under Journal Title.
  • The article "Colonial Blue Books: a major resource in the Royal Commonwealth Society Library," by Sarah Preston, is a description of Blue Books and their contents.