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This project was a joint effort with the Senate
Historical Office and the Joint Committee on Printing. The re
sponsibility of preparing and editing the biographical sketches of
more than 10,000 House Members was that of the Office for the
A Guide to Research Collections of Former Members of the
United States House of Representatives, 1789-1987; Bicentennial
This 504-page compilation of the locations and descrip
tions of important research collections of more than 3,000 of for
mer Members of the House was begun in 1984.
represents the results of an ambitious national survey to locate
the scattered manuscripts and other historical material that is
essential to further historical studies of the House of Represen
tatives. No such guide for House historical resources existed un
til this publication appeared in December 1988.
It represents a
major tool for further studies of the House.
It was compiled with
the nationwide support of volunteer historians, archivists, and
librarians, who provided the data for the publication.
Guide to the Records of the United States House of Represen
tatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition.
23-542 - 91 - 4
This 466-page guide to the official committee records of the House
at the National Archives was a major bicentennial project of the
The Office for the Bicentennial and the Office
of the Clerk of the House were instrumental in launching this pro
ject and worked closely with the Archives staff in the review and
editing of the manuscript during its four years of preparation, beginning in 1985. The volume was published at the beginning of
the 101st Congress in January 1989.
This guide, and a similar
guide to Senate records, represent the first systematic descrip
tion of House and Senate records since "preliminary inventories"
of House records were completed in 1959.
History in the House.
Periodically, beginning in October
1984, the Office for the Bicentennial has prepared 4 to 8-page
newsletters on historical topics and bicentennial information.
Some of the features subsequently have been used by Members in
their own newsletters and speeches, and a number of the newsletter
items have been reprinted in newspapers around the country and are
being used in classrooms.
The newsletters are distributed to all
congressional offices, a select list of historians and political scientists, and members of the public who have requested to be
added to our mailing list.
Ten issues have appeared since 1984,
with a circulation of about 4,600 copies.
Black Americans in Congress.
The Office for
the Bicentennial began work on this project in 1986.
planned as an update of a popular booklet of the same name issued
by Congress during the American Revolution Bicentennial, and long
out of print, the Office for the Bicentennial with encouragement
of the House bicentenary commission, has expanded the scope of the
publication with new research and new illustrations which add sub
stantially to the biographical data available.
The manuscript is
completed and ready for submission to GPO as soon as a pending printing resolution receives final approval from both bodies.
Women in Congress. (Forthcoming).
(Forthcoming). This, too, was originally
conceived and published during the American Revolution Bicenten
nial and has long been out of print. Again, the Office for the
Bicentennial decided to rewrite the entire publication based on
Work began in 1986. All primary research is com
pleted, all phonographs have been collected, and new sketches are
currently being drafted. The volume should be ready for publica
tion in about three months.
Origins of the House of Representatives: A Documentary
Record. (Forthcoming). This is a compilation of historical
material from James Madison's Notes at the Federal Convention in
Philadelphia in 1787, the Federalist and Antifederalist debates,
and private letters of the Founding Fathers and Members of the
First Congress, which describe the origins of the House of Repre
Each document is introduced with an editorial note on
its historical significance. This project, launched by the Office for the Bicentennial in mid 1987, is now completed and ready for
publication, pending passage of a printing resolution.
The U.S. Capitol: A Brief Architectural History. (Forthcom
Prepared by the Office of the Architect of the Capitol,
this publication (approximately 25 pages) will feature a succinct text and some outstanding historical photographs documenting the
evolution of the Capitol Building, one of the most familiar Amer
The Office for the Bicentennial encouraged the
production of this booklet and has assisted with its design and
preparation for publication.
The booklet is completed and awaits
approval of a pending printing resolution.
The Office for the Bicentennial acted
primarily as a coordinator and facilitator for congressional ex
hibits since the Office had no specific budget or sufficient staff
to mount major exhibits on its own.
The Office did create two ex
hibits. The first, which can be seen in Statuary Hall, is on the
history of that room when it served as the House Chamber from 1807
to 1857. Planning for the six-panel exhibit, entitled "The
Splendid Hall," began in 1987.
The Office for the Bicentennial
had the cooperation and support of the Office of the Architect of
the Capitol in assembling the, exhibit. The exhibit opened in Jan
uary 1989 as soon as the space was available following events surrounding the presidential inauguration. It is designed to blend
in with the room and not interfere with other uses of the space so
the exhibit can remain in place indefinitely.
Congress on Stamps.
In cooperation with the Capitol Hill
Philatelic club, the U.S. Postal Service, the Congressional Re
search Service, and the Smithsonian Institution, the Office for
the Bicentennial mounted a popular exhibition of U.S. commemora
tive postage stamps which featured Members of Congress, Acts of
Congress, and the Capitol Building.
The centerpiece of the exhib
it was the new House and Senate bicentennial postage stamps, de