Methodology and Useful Research Strategies

Manuel Luján, Jr., of New Mexico Campaign Button/tiles/non-collection/i/intro_16_lujan_manuel_button.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Manuel Luján, Jr., of New Mexico served in the U.S. House for nearly two decades and was a founding Member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in December 1976.
As with previous editions in the Minorities in Congress series, we consulted several standard sources that were indispensable during the compilation of this book. Inquiries into Members’ congressional careers should begin with the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, available at http://bioguide.congress.gov/. Maintained by the House Office of the Historian 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 Puerto Rican Resident Commissioners. This Government Printing Office (GPO) publication, published once per Congress in recent Congresses but often once per session in earlier Congresses, dates to the early 19th century. From the 104th Congress (1995–1997) onward, the Congressional Directory is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/.

In the early phase of our research, we also consulted standard secondary references such as the American National Biography, the Dictionary of American Biography, and Current Biography. We used various editions of the Almanac of American Politics (Washington, D.C.: National Journal Inc.) and Politics in America (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press; Congressional Quarterly, Inc.; CQ-Roll Call, Inc.) as a starting point to research current Members and many former Members who served after 1971. We also consulted various editions of the United States Census for biographical information about Members by using ancestry library.com at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Many of these census citations appear in the notes.

Much of the information in this book was obtained from primary sources, particularly published official congressional records and scholarly compilations of congressional statistics. 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.

  • The election results for the biennial congressional elections from 1920 onward are available in the Clerk’s “Election Statistics,” published by GPO and available in PDF format at http://history.house.gov/institution/election-statistics/election-statistics. We used the names of current and former Members at the time of their election to Congress or their listing in congressional sources. Michael J. Dubin et al., United States Congressional Elections, 1788–1997 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, Publishing, Inc., 1998) contains results for both general and special elections. For the results of elections for Territorial Delegates in New Mexico during the 19th century, we consulted W. G. Ritch, The Legislative Blue Book of the Territory of New Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press: 1968; reprint of 1882 edition); the U.S. Department of State Territorial Papers, New Mexico, 1851–1872 (National Archives Microfilm Publication T17, Roll 2); General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59, National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD (hereinafter referred to as NACP); and the U.S. Department of Interior Territorial Papers of New Mexico, 1851–1914 (National Archives Microfilm Publication M364, Roll 2); General Records of the Department of the Interior, Record Group 48, NACP. For results for elections for Puerto Rican Resident Commissioners that were held before 1940, our main source was Fernando Bayron Toro, Elecciones y partidos políticos de Puerto Rico: 1809–2000 (Mayagüez, PR: Editorial Isla, 2003).
  • 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 proved useful for consultation.
  • Committee assignments and information about jurisdiction can be found in three indispensable scholarly compilations: David T. Canon, Garrison Nelson, and Charles Stewart III, Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1789–1946, four vols. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2002); Garrison Nelson, Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1947–1992, two vols. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 1994); and Garrison Nelson and Charles Stewart III, Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1993–2010 (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011). Committee rosters and information also are published in the Congressional Directory. However, this source does not indicate changes in committee composition that occur mid-Congress.
  • Legislation, floor debates, roll call votes, bills, resolutions, and public laws dating back to the 1980s can be searched on the Library of Congress’s THOMAS website at http://www.loc.gov. Two particularly useful print resources that discuss historical acts of Congress are Steven V. Stathis, Landmark Legislation, 1774–2002: Major U.S. Acts and Treaties (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2002) and Brian K. Landsberg, ed., Major Acts of Congress, three vols. (New York: Macmillan Reference, Thompson-Gale, 2004). Floor debates about legislation can be found in the Congressional Record (1873 to the present), which is available from 1989 to present at the THOMAS website at http://www.loc.gov; an index of the Record from 1983 to the present is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/. Electronic copies of the Annals of Congress and the Congressional Globe (the predecessors of the Congressional Record) are available at http://www.loc.gov. 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, please visit http://history.house.gov. For Senate roll call votes back to the first session of the 101st Congress, check the U.S. Senate website at http://www.senate.gov/. For print copies of the Congressional Directory, the Annals of Congress, the Congressional Globe, the Congressional Record, the House Journal, or the Senate Journal, please consult a local federal depository library. A GPO locator for federal depository libraries is accessible at http://catalog.gpo.gov/fdlpdir/FDLPdir.jsp. For presidential statements and addresses, we used John Woolley and Gerhard Peters, eds., The American Presidency Project at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu.

Campaign Button of Herman Badillo of New York/tiles/non-collection/i/intro_12_badillo_herman_button.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
A campaign button supports the election of Herman Badillo of New York to Congress. Badillo, who represented a district that encompassed parts of Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx, was the first person of Puerto Rican descent to serve as a voting Representative in the U.S. Congress.
Using an online database, we reviewed key newspapers for the historical periods included in this book, including the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. We also consulted microfilm editions of Spanish and Spanish-English newspapers, including the Albuquerque (NM) Journal (various editions); El mundo (San Juan, PR); La correspondencia (San Juan, PR); La democracia (San Juan, PR); the San Juan Star (San Juan, PR); the Santa Fe (NM) Weekly Gazette (various editions); and the Santa Fe New Mexican (various editions). News accounts and feature stories provided missing information, particularly for Members who served before 1945. All the newspaper articles are cited in the notes.

We consulted a number of primary source collections for biographical and legislative information. In addition to the U.S. Department of the Interior Territorial Papers (Record Group 48) and the U.S. Department of State General Records Files (Record Group 59), we consulted the Presidential State Files, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, IA; Records of the Office of Territories, Record Group 126; and the Records of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, Record Group 350, NACP; and the Records of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Record Group 233, National Archives, Washington, D.C. We also visited the Center for Southwest Research at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque); the State Records Center and Archives and the Museum of New Mexico (Santa Fe) to review microfilm and photo collections of 19th- and early 20th-century New Mexico; and the Louisiana State University Libraries Special Collections (Baton Rouge).

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