Frequently Asked Questions
Also see the "How do I?" menu on the left side of each page.
1.) What is the Blue Book?
2.) How do I navigate in the Blue Book?
3.) Where can I buy a print version of the Blue Book?
4.) Where are the state symbols - tree, bird...?
5.) Where is good information for my school report?
6.) Why can't I find an office in the list of state agencies?
7.) Why can't I find a community in the city listings of the Blue Book?
8.) How can I submit my agency's new Web address to the Blue Book?
9.) Where does the name "Oregon" come from?
10.) How do I find my state senator or representative?
11.) I'm confused about Oregon's tax system. Can you explain it?
12.) Can I browse by subject in the Blue Book?
13.) I need an occupational or business license. Where do I go?
14.) What's the biggest, smallest, tallest, first, etc... in Oregon?
15.) I'm new to Oregon. Can you help me learn about my community?
16.) Do you have the results of initiatives?
Answer: See the about the Blue Book page for description and overview.
Answer: The tabbed navigation bar at the top of each page has drop down menus to all of the major sections in the Blue Book. Each page also includes a "How do I?" list. See the site map for a quick overview with links to the major resources in the Blue Book. More obscure information can be located using the search window on each page. And, if you prefer to access information by topic, please refer to the Oregon Topics Guide.
Answer: Depending on the subject of your report, the entire Blue Book has good information. However, many students use the state symbols, almanac, Notable Oregonians, Oregon history, and Oregon economy pages.
Answer: Some state agencies have smaller subdivisions, offices, boards, commissions, or committees that are not listed on the main list of state agencies. Try looking in the "agency subdivisions" page of the agency that would most likely contain the office you seek. For example, if you are trying to find the Oregon Dairy Products Commission, go to the agency subdivision page for the Agriculture Department. It lists all of the commodity commissions as well as many other related entities.
You can also use the search page that is accessible from the top and bottom of each page in the Blue Book.
Answer: The Blue Book includes only incorporated cities. Communities, post offices, and other non-incorporated local entities are not included. Try the excellent Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) produced by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). It lists information on over 2000 post offices in Oregon as well as information on local geography and landmarks.
Answer: Use the Contact Us link at the bottom of each page. Fill out the quick and easy form and hit the "submit form" button. We'll review your report and make appropriate changes.
Answer: That question remains the subject of debate. One opinion is as follows: The first written record of the name "Oregon" comes to us from a 1765 proposal for a journey written by Major Robert Rogers, an English army officer. It reads, "The rout . . . is from the Great Lakes towards the Head of the Mississippi, and from thence to the River called by the Indians Ouragon. . . ." His proposal rejected, Rogers reapplied in 1772, using the spelling "Ourigan." The first printed use of the current spelling appeared in Captain Jonathan Carver's 1778 book, "Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America 1766, 1767 and 1768." He listed the four great rivers of the continent, including "the River Oregon, or the River of the West, that falls into the Pacific Ocean at the Straits of Annian."
Answer: Go to the legislative section. It has district maps and descriptions as well as photos of the legislators and a link to a site where you can enter your zip code to find your legislator.
Answer: We can try. Check out the government finance section. It includes a discussion of the tax system as well as charts to help explain.
Answer: Yes. See the Oregon Topics Guide, it has 26 subject based sections with links to Blue Book resources and directly to agencies, interest groups, and others.
Answer: Go to the licenses, certifications, registrations, and permits page.
Answer: Check out the almanac section.
Answer: Yes. We recommend that you browse the cultural section and use the contact information and Web links to become acquainted with local resources such as newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations, art and theater organizations, and more.
Answer: Yes. We have the results of initiatives and referendums, and referrals from the very first one in 1902 to the present. We also have the entire history of all of the major state offices such as governor, secretary of state, supreme court, etc.