Serving as the Senate's institutional memory, the Historical Office collects and provides information on important events, precedents, dates, statistics, and historical comparisons of current and past Senate activities for use by members and staff, the media, scholars, and the general public. The office advises senators and committees on cost-effective disposition of their non-current office files, assists researchers seeking access to Senate records, and maintains automated information data bases detailing locations of former members' papers.
It conducts oral history interviews with retired senior Senate staff and keeps extensive biographical and bibliographical information on former senators. A collection of more than thirty thousand Senate-related photographs and other illustrations is available for research and publication use. The Historical Office and its staff has also produced numerous publications through the years, covering all aspects of Senate history.
Historical Information Available on this website
Art & History News! Historical background to help you understand current events.
Origins & Development: This collection of historical essays describes the constitutional origins and institutional development of the Senate, including information about the Senate's unique powers and procedures.
Historical Minutes: This collection of brief essays by Senate historians is organized chronologically and presented to enlighten, inspire, amuse, and inform. The essays provide clear impressions about the forces, events, and personalities that have shaped the Senate of the 21st century.
Oral History Project: Both biographical and institutional in scope, these interviews include personal recollections of careers within the Senate the discussions of how Congress has changed over the years.
People: Information on former members of the Senate, as well as Senate officers and staff, including lists of women and minorities who have served in the Senate. Connection to the on-line Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.
Historical Statistics: Statistical tables and charts covering many aspects of Senate history.
Historical Photographs: Information about the Historical Office's collection of approximately 35,000 still pictures, slides, and negatives that include photographs and illustrations of nearly all current and former senators, news photographs, editorial cartoons, photographs of committees in session, and other images documenting Senate history.
This Week in Senate History: A collection of anecdotes tracing the history of the Senate through specific weeks and years.
The United States Senate, An Institutional Bibliography: More than 600 citations to books, articles, and government documents printed since 1789.
About the United States Senate Archives. Information about official Senate records as well as private paper collections of former senators. Includes Reports of the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress.
Publications of the Senate Historical Office
Senate Historical Office Staff:
Donald A. Ritchie, Historian
Betty K. Koed, Associate Historian
Katherine A. Scott, Assistant Historian
Richard A. Baker, Historian Emeritus
Heather Moore, Photo Historian
Beth Hahn, Historical Editor
Karen D. Paul, Archivist
Elisabeth Butler, Deputy Archivist
M. Alison White, Deputy Archivist
Mary Baumann, Historical Writer
Stephen Tull, Office Manager
For more information, contact the Senate Historical Office at 202-224-6900, or by mail at 201 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C., 20510-7108.