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for discretion remains unblemished.

The records of the

House of Representatives represent a vast documentary source

of information for the American public.

The National

Archives hopes to make more of that great historical legacy

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Mr. MOAKLEY. In fact, your statement has answered my questions, and I thank you very much for your presentation.

Any questions? Thank you very much.

Now we will have the pleasure to welcome Dr. Raymond W.
Smock, the Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives. Doctor?
STATEMENT OF DR. RAYMOND W. SMOCK, HISTORIAN, U.S.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Dr. SMOCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I am delighted to be here to discuss H. Res. 209. The resolution has our hearty support, and we look forward to the establishment of a permanent Historical Office under the administration of the Clerk.

I have, at the subcommittee's request, prepared a report of the activities of the Office of the Bicentennial of the House during the 6 years that we have been in existence, and I have expanded a few items since I submitted that report to the subcommittee, and I would like to at this time submit the revised report for the record. [See p. 38.]

Mr. MOAKLEY. Without objection, the Doctor's entire statement will appear in the record.

Dr. SMOCK. In addition to that, I also have another item, a proposal for a documentary history of the United States Congress, which speaks to the future of the Office, and

Mr. MOAKLEY. Without objection, that also will appear in the record. [See p. 58.]

Dr. SMOCK. Thank you.

In the few minutes that I have today, Mr. Chairman. I would like to focus on the future of the Office of the Historian, while this report that I am submitting speaks to what we have accomplished in the past.

Mr. Chairman, in this place, the House of Representatives, history is made every day, and there will always be challenging work for an historical office in the House.

The life blood of historical research is the records of Congress. “No records, no history” is a familiar maxim to historians. We do our best work and will be of the best service to the House when we systematically study the official records of the early Congresses, when we examine the diaries and the memoirs of the men and women who served here, when we encourage Members to preserve their personal papers for posterity, and when we see to it that the official records are well-cared-for and, subject to the Rules of the House, made available in a timely fashion for scholarly use.

We also have an opportunity to lead the way in the study of the diverse and rich records of Congressional history. We need to know a lot more about how the House of Representatives has grown as an institution, how it has changed along with the country over two centuries, and how over time, it has organized and reorganized itself to carry out its constitutional mission.

When we began 6 years ago, the Office for the Bicentennial had a specific mission to plan for the 200th anniversary of the House. Everything we did was designed to meet that goal.

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Oversight and guidance for our programs and projects has been the responsibility of a bipartisan Commission on the U.S. House of Representatives Bicentenary, which has benefited immensely, as you have already suggested, from the superb leadership of our chairman, Congresswoman Lindy Boggs.

In addition to planning for the Bicentennial, we had another goal which had the support of our Commission, and that was to lay a foundation for a permanent History Office. Everything we did in those 6 years was designed to lead up to that eventuality, so that we could build on the work that we have done in the past and not have to start all over again, and I think we have achieved that goal.

Now, we are ready to move ahead. I know how difficult longrange planning can be, but if we do expect to add to the historical understanding of an institution as complex as the House of Representatives, we have to think about where we would like to be 10 or 15 years down the road, and I think the project that I have submitted here, the documentary history of the U.S. House of Representatives, will give us a solid plan for the future.

This study will help draw together key records from the vast and scattered sources of congressional history, and would offer Members, staff, and researchers essential records necessary to understand the structure and the operation of the House during its 200 years of existence.

The Senate Historical Office is planning a similar project for the Senate, and we anticipate both projects going forward, so we would have a House series, a Senate series, and a joint series for those parts of the institution which can best be viewed in a joint context.

Let me conclude by saying that we look forward eagerly to working even closer than we have with the Office of the Clerk. The Clerk and his staff have helped and supported us in some ways that we truly feel like we are already part of the family. The House is fortunate to have a Clerk who is himself a keen student of the history and traditions of the House, and so we could not be more pleased to see our relationship with the Clerk's Office strengthened by the resolution before us today.

We will do all we can to be of assistance to the Clerk, especially in the area where we think professional historians can do the most effective work, in matters that bear on the preservation and use of historical records.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you and the members of this subcommittee and the subcommittee staff for your fostering interest in the Office of the Historian. We appreciate the many courtesies this subcommittee has extended to us in the past, and we will never forget that the Rules Committee is the committee that created this office in the very beginning, so thank you, and I would be glad to entertain any questions.

[Dr. Smock’s prepared statement, with attachments, follow:]

Remarks of Dr. Raymond W. Smock
Historian, United States House of Representatives

before the
Subcommittee on Rules of the House

October 18, 1989

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, I am delighted to be

here today to discuss H. Res. 209 amending the Rules of the House to

transfer the Office of the Historian of the House of Representatives

to the Clerk.

The resolution has our hearty support, and we look

forward to the establishment of a permanent Office of the Historian

under the administration of the Clerk.

I have, at the subcommittee's request, prepared a report on the

activities of the Office for the Bicentennial of the House during

the six years it has been in existence.

I have expanded a few items

since I submitted a version of the report to you earlier, and I

would like to submit the revised report for the record at this time.

While I would be happy to discuss any part of that report, what I

propose to do in the few minutes I have today is focus on the future

of the Office of the Historian, rather than the accomplishments of

the Office for the Bicentennial.

Mr. Chairman, the House of Representatives is a place where

history is made everyday.

There will always be challenging work for

a historical office in the House.

The life blood of historical re

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search is the records of Congress.

No records, no history, is a

maxim familiar to historians. We do our best work and are of the best service to the House when we systematically study the official

committee records of the early congresses, when we examine the

diaries and memoirs of the men and women who have served here, when

we encourage Members to preserve their personal papers for

posterity, and when we see to it that the official records are well

cared for and, subject to the Rules of the House, available in a

timely fashion for scholarly use.

We also have an opportunity to lead the way in the study of the

diverse and rich records of congressional history.

We need to know

a lot more about how the House of Representatives has grown as an

institution, how it has changed along with the country over two

centuries, and how over time it has organized and reorganized itself to carry out its constitutional mission. If you think it ap

propriate, I would like to append to my remarks and the report sub

mitted earlier a blueprint of what I consider the most fundamental

work the Office of the Historian should undertake in the years

ahead, a documentary history of the House of Representatives.

When we began six years ago as the Office for the Bicentennial

we had a specific assignment: to plan for the 200th anniversary of

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