History of the General Assembly

Just one week remains until the close of another Legislative session. Colorado’s General Assembly has an interesting history and our library is one of the best places to find out about it. Here are a few resources for those researching the history of Colorado’s Legislature:

  • John Straayer’s classic The Colorado General Assembly takes a look at the processes and procedures of the state legislature. However, the first edition was published in 1990 and the second edition in 2000, so though not entirely up-to-date, it is a helpful source on twentieth century legislative history.
  • Presidents and Speakers of the Colorado General Assembly is available in our digital repository. This fun little book gives short biographies, with photos, on all of the Legislature’s Speakers of the House and Presidents of the Senate from 1876 to 1980.
  • Directory of Colorado State Government is available in our library for every year since 1979. This directory lists all the major players not just in the Legislature but also in the state agencies as well.
  • The official Legislative directories published each year are known as the “Pink Books” because they are, well, pink. Our library owns these back to 1972. These give a listing of all the Legislators, the committees they sit on, their personal occupations, contact information, spouse’s name, and seating charts for the House and Senate chambers.
  • House and Senate Journals are the ultimate source for researching what passed and who sponsored it. Our library has nearly every year’s journals going back to statehood.
  • Legislative Council Research Reports are in-depth reports on the Legislature’s committees of reference. This series, begun in the 1950s, are all available at our library and also available online via our webpage.

There are numerous other resources for researching Colorado’s legislative history, so search our web catalog or contact the library for more information.