Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Since the First Federal Congress convened in New York City in April 1789, the U.S. House of Representatives has grown from 65 Representatives to 435. The House’s evolving rules and procedures have filled many volumes, and, over time, it developed unique traditions and practices. During the past two centuries, Americans have elected more than 11,000 people to the House (far more than any other branch of government), reaffirming the founders’ intent that it be open and responsive to the people. The Office of the Historian collects and provides information to the widest possible audience on all aspects of the House’s rich history spanning more than two centuries: important events, people, precedents, dates, and statistics. It maintains the House’s major historical publications including The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress and a series of volumes on women and minorities who have served in Congress. The office also conducts and publishes oral history interviews with former senior staff and Members of Congress. In 2011, the Historian’s Office merged with history staff formerly from the Clerk’s Office of History and Preservation, which had produced the 2005 print edition of The Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress, Women in Congress, 1917–2006, and Black Americans in Congress, 1870–2007. For questions about House history, please direct email to history@mail.house.gov or call 202-226-1300.