Historians of the House
The Historian of the House is a nonpartisan official appointed by the Speaker to compile and disseminate information about the history of the House. The Historian’s Office serves as a source of institutional memory for Members and staff, and as a resource for the general public.
The House’s first history function, the Office of the Bicentennial, was created in 1983 to oversee the events and publications commemorating the 200th anniversary of the First Federal Congress in 1989. Following the bicentennial celebrations, the House authorized the creation of a permanent history office by adding the position of Historian in House Rule II (PDF), which concerns “other officers and officials.” Raymond Smock directed the Office of the Bicentennial before being appointed the first Historian.
The Office of the Historian maintains information on and answers inquiries about all aspects of House history spanning more than two centuries: important events, dates, people, precedents, and statistics. It has researched, written, and edited the House’s major historical publications including The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress and a series of books on women and minorities who have served in Congress. The office also conducts and publishes oral history interviews with former staff and Members of Congress.
The Historian’s Office works closely with the Clerk of the House, particularly the Clerk’s Office of Art & Archives, which is responsible for preserving official House records and curating the institution’s art and artifacts.
|Director of the Office of the Bicentennial||Term of Service|
|Raymond W. Smock||1983–1989|
|Historians of the U.S. House||Term of Service|
|Raymond W. Smock||1989–1995|
|Robert V. Remini||2005–2010|
|Matthew A. Wasniewski||2010–present|