The 2006 Edition and the 2017 Women in Congress Updates
In early 2001, Representative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio introduced House Concurrent Resolution 66 for the printing of a revised edition of the book. The resolution, which passed the House on April 4, 2001, and was agreed to by the Senate on April 24, 2001, authorized the Library of Congress to compile “an updated version” of Women in Congress, 1917–1990. The Library of Congress later transferred the project to the Office of History and Preservation, under the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In scope, structure, and concept, the 2006 edition of Women in Congress differed substantially from its predecessors. Increasing diversity and the unprecedented growth in the number of women in Congress in the latter part of the 20th century necessitated a revised and expanded edition. The changing characteristics and increasing influence of women Members are reflected in the former Members’ profiles which were expanded (averaging 2,000 words), with an emphasis on congressional service. Some profiles of outstanding House and Senate careers are longer while the profiles of widows who served brief terms and for whom the record is fragmentary at best are shorter. Each profile consists of a brief section on the Member’s precongressional career, followed, where possible, by a detailed analysis of the subject’s first campaign for congressional office; subsequent re-election efforts; information about committee assignments, leadership, and major legislative initiatives; and a brief summary of the Member’s postcongressional career.
Bibliographic information is provided at the end of each profile, and, where applicable, information about the location of a Member’s manuscript collection is included at the end of their individual profiles. Manuscript information drawn from House and Senate records is used to compile and maintain the online Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress at http://bioguide.congress.gov. The editors reference Members’ major manuscript collections and other repositories with significant holdings, e.g., the transcript of an oral history or extended correspondence. This information provides a resource for the general reader and a starting point for the scholarly researcher. Additionally, contextual essays describing four successive generations of Congresswomen analyze political and institutional developments affecting women’s participation in Congress. Appendices include tables on women’s committee assignments, leadership positions, and familial connections in Congress. Photographs of each Member also are included.
The website and 2017 eBook edition are based on the 2006 print edition and are revised contextual essays reflecting the considerable increase in the number of women in Congress during the last decade. Readers can access there the profiles of every individual woman Member from Rankin onward as well as up-to-date data and statistics on various aspects of that history.