The 2007 Edition and the 2020 Women in Congress Update

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, authorized the Library of Congress to compile “an updated version” of Women in Congress. 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 2007 edition of Women in Congress differed substantially from its predecessors. In the 15 years since the previous edition, the number of women in Congress had increased, as had their power and diversity. As a result, the profiles of former Members were expanded (averaging 2,000 words), with an emphasis on their congressional service. Some profiles of prominent House and Senate careers are longer in length, while the profiles of widows who served brief terms and for whom the historical 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 her 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.

Current Member profiles which appear in Part Two of the book follow the same general structure, though they are briefer and were reviewed by each Members’ office. Women who have served two or more terms are profiled in alphabetical order in short essays of roughly 800 words. First-term Members are included at the end of the section in alphabetical order and appear in resume-style format.

Where applicable, information about a Member’s manuscript collection is included at the end of her individual profile, as are references to other repositories with significant holdings, including oral history transcripts. 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 the political and institutional developments that affected their participation in Congress. Appendices include tables on women’s committee assignments and leadership positions, among other data. Photographs of each Member also are included.

In 2020, to commemorate the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the historic number of women in the 116th Congress, the Office of the Historian compiled and published the present volume of Women in Congress, with revised contextual essays and updated Member profiles that reflect the considerable increase in the number of women in Congress since the previous volume came out more than a decade earlier. In scope and structure the 2020 edition mirrors its 2007 predecessor.

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