Methodology and Useful Research Strategies

Norman Y. Mineta/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_intro_31_NMineta_JAMSanJose.xml Image courtesy of Japanese American Museum of San Jose Norman Y. Mineta, taking an oath early in his political career in San Jose, California, served 20 years in Congress.
As with previous editions in this series of books on women and minorities in Congress, we consulted several standard sources that were indispensable starting points during the compilation of this book. Inquiries into Members’ congressional careers should begin with the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress at Maintained by the Office of the Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate Historical Office, this publication contains basic biographical information about Members, pertinent bibliographic references, and information about manuscript collections. Previous editions of the Congressional Directory also provided important biographical information, particularly for the Philippine Resident Commissioners and Territorial Delegates from Hawaii. These U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) publications—produced once per Congress in recent Congresses, but often once per session in earlier Congresses—date back to the early 19th century. From the 104th Congress (1995–1997) onward, the series is available at

In the early phase of our research, we also consulted standard secondary references such as the American National Biography, Dictionary of American Biography, and Current Biography. We used various editions of the Almanac of American Politics (Washington, DC: National Journal Inc.) and Politics in America (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press) as a starting point to research Members who served after 1971. We also consulted various editions of the United States Census and U.S. passport applications for biographical information about Members by using Ancestry Library at All of these citations appear in the notes.

We obtained much of the information in this book from primary sources, particularly published official congressional records and scholarly compilations of congressional statistics. The following is a summary of the sources we consulted for information related to congressional elections, committee assignments, legislation, votes, floor debates, news accounts, and images:

  • For congressional election results for the biennial elections from 1920 onward, we consulted “Election Statistics,” compiled by the Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives, and published by GPO and available in PDF format at Philippine Resident Commissioner elections are not included in “Election Statistics”; Hawaiian elections appear only in the 1926 edition before being consistently included in the series beginning in 1940. Michael J. Dubin, United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1997 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, Publishing, Inc., 1998) contains results for both general and special elections, and it covers the period prior to the publication of the Clerk’s “Election Statistics.” It does not, however, include statistics for territorial elections. For election results for the Philippine Resident Commissioners, we relied primarily on the various journals of pre–World War II Philippine legislatures and newspapers. We also reviewed election certificates that were part of the records of the U.S. House of Representatives (RG 233) at the National Archives’ Center for Legislative Archives. A useful source on state and national elections in Hawaii from 1900 through 1976 is Robert C. Schmitt, Historical Statistics of Hawaii (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii, 1977), also available in PDF format online at
  • For information on district boundaries and reapportionment, we relied on Kenneth C. Martis, The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress, 1789–1989 (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1989) and the three-volume work by Stanley B. Parsons et al., United States Congressional Districts (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986). Various editions of the Congressional Directory also proved useful. 
  • For committee assignments and information about jurisdiction, we used three indispensable scholarly compilations: David T. Canon, Garrison Nelson, and Charles Stewart III, Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1789–1946, 4 vols. (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2002); Garrison Nelson, Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1947–1992, 2 vols. (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1994); and Garrison Nelson and Charles Stewart III, Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1993–2010 (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2010). Committee rosters and information also are published in the Congressional Directory. However, this single source often does not track committee composition changes that occur mid-Congress. 
  • For legislation, floor debates, roll call votes, bills, resolutions, and public laws as far back as the 1980s, we searched the Library of Congress’s legislative database at A particularly useful print resource that discusses historical acts of Congress is Steven W. Stathis’s Landmark Legislation, 1774–2012: Major U.S. Acts and Treaties, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2014). Floor debates about legislation are in the Congressional Record (1873 to the present), copies of which can be obtained at a local federal depository library. To find the nearest location, search The Record is available online dating back to the 104th Congress at the Library of Congress’s website: We also consulted the official proceedings in the House Journal and the Senate Journal. For House roll call votes back to the second session of the 101st Congress (1989–1991), please visit For Senate roll call votes back to the first session of the 101st Congress, check the U.S. Senate website at As with the Congressional Record, printed editions of the Congressional Directory, the House Journal, or the Senate Journal can be found at the nearest federal depository library. For presidential statements and addresses, we used John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, eds., American Presidency Project, at 

Daniel K. Inouye, Norman Y. Mineta, and Spark M. Matsunaga/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_intro_33_CWRIC_S1647signing_CarterLibrary.xml Image courtesy of the Jimmy Carter Library/National Archives and Records Administration From left to right: Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, Representative Norman Y. Mineta of California, and Senator Spark M. Matsunaga of Hawaii watch as President Jimmy Carter signs the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Act into law in 1980. The three lawmakers played an instrumental role in the legislation.
Using online databases, we reviewed key newspapers for the historical periods covered in this book, including the Baltimore Sun, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Daily Tribune, Indianapolis Star, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. We also consulted Hawaiian newspapers such as the Hawaiian Gazette, Hawaiian Star, Honolulu Advertiser, and Honolulu Star-Bulletin via microfilm and the Library of Congress’s “Chronicling America” database at Finally, using the Library’s Periodicals and Newspapers Reading Room, we reviewed microfilm editions of Philippine newspapers, including the Cablenews-American (Manila, PI); Philippines Free Press (Manila, PI); Manila Times; and Philippines Herald. News accounts and feature stories, particularly for Members who served before 1945, provided missing information. All newspaper articles are cited in the notes.

Robert T. Matsui Memorial Program/tiles/non-collection/A/APA_intro_32_MatsuiMemorialProgram_HC.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Representative Robert T. Matsui of California served in Congress from 1979 until his death on January 1, 2005. This program is from his memorial service, which took place in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.
For readers interested in acquiring reproductions of the photographs in this book, we have provided information for images from public, private, and commercial repositories. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Requesters must make their own assessments of rights in light of their intended use. The U.S. House of Representatives is not responsible for violation of copyright by users of the images nor does it assume responsibility for any claims resulting from the failure of users to secure reproduction rights. The following institutions provided photographs and/or assistance with locating images related to the history of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Congress: the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Photography; the U.S. Senate Historical Office; the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division; the Library of Congress Serial and Government Publications Division; the National Archives and Records Administration; the William J. Clinton Presidential Library; the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library; the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library; the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library; the Filipinas Heritage Library; the Hawaii State Archives; the Densho Digital Repository; the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library; the Barack Obama Presidential Library; the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library; the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library; the Daniel K. Inouye Institute; the Japanese American National Museum; and the United States Mint. The images of current Members were provided by their offices, which are the points of contact for those seeking official images.

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