How to Research House Records
The records of the House of Representatives are on deposit at the National Archives and Records Administration. Researchers can access most materials at the Center for Legislative Archives, part of the National Archives, in downtown Washington, D.C. Although House records are preserved and accessed through the Center for Legislative Archives, they remain the property of the House and are subject to its rules.
To begin your research, visit the Finding Aids by Congress page. You can also use the Research Portal of the Center for Legislative Archives to search or browse House records in the catalog of the National Archives.
Before your research visit, contact the Center for Legislative Archives at 202-357-5350 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contacting the Center beforehand will help ensure that records are available. Most House records are open to researchers 30 years after their creation, according to House Rule VII. Most investigative, executive session, or personnel records are accessible after 50 years from the date of their creation. However, some open records may need to be screened for privacy considerations. The Center for Legislative Archives has more information about how to access records and plan your research visit.
While textual House records can be accessed at the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., audio-visual records are stored at the National Archives Building in College Park, Maryland. To access photographs, sound recordings, and videos, contact the National Archives at 301-837-2000.