Current law students confronting The Bluebook’s complexity may be surprised to know it was not always thus. The number of pages has increased in almost every edition from the 26-page first edition published in 1926 to the 582-page twentieth edition published in 2015.
A recent law review article describes the origins of The Bluebook; debunks two folklore accounts; explains why a book published at Harvard has an iconic blue cover (not crimson); reprints delightfully clear citation rules cowritten by a World War I veteran (German army) and a North Carolina textile magnate; and details the menu at a 1987 Harvard Law Review banquet. It’s worth a read.
Fred R. Shapiro & Julie Graves Krishnaswami, The Secret History of the Bluebook, 100 Minn. L. Rev. 1563 (2016).