Oral History Program Overview

First created in 2004, the oral history program of the U.S. House of Representatives provides detailed descriptions of legislative processes and procedures, as well as recollections about the evolving nature of the institution. The interviews conducted by the Office of the House Historian add a personal element to the often unfamiliar and complicated inner workings of Congress. Recording the memories of people who have worked in various capacities at the Capitol allows congressional staff the opportunity to familiarize themselves with past House practices, which in turn may inform those making decisions and planning policies in the present. By providing such a resource, the Historian’s Office also seeks to promote further interest in and study of the history of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Oral history interviews are recorded using audio and/or video equipment. The office produces transcripts, interview summaries, and electronic copies of the recordings. Audio and video recordings will be archived and made available publicly through the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the Library of Congress. Original recordings—as well as any supporting documentary materials such as letters or pictures—will be stored and protected according to archival standards.

Please see the website Rights & Reproductions for copyright and image reproduction information.