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The resolution further provided that copies of the records in this case could be provided "but that the originals thereof shall not be removed from the files of the House." This rule has been reiterated many times.
The House records deposited in the National Archives are restricted. The National Archives may make available for use only those records that have heretofore been printed, unless otherwise directed by action of the House of Ropresentatives by resolution or sta tu te, or in writing by the Clerk. The unrestricted material amounts to a large quantity, however, and includes such diverse types of records as bills and resolutions, committee reports and hearings, House documents, and certain Territorial pa per8.
Before the National Archives could give adequate service on the House records, it had to place them in proper order. As they had been moved from place to place in the Capitol and the House Office Building in an effort to make room for new accumulations of records, they had become disarranged.. Confusion resulted from changes in filing systems. The records that had been transferred to the Library of Congress needed to be refiled in their proper places among the other records. Examining, sorting, classifying, and properly arranging all the records was a tremendous task. For it has been estimated that there are about three million separate items--an item being any separable and distinct paper such as a leto ter, a report, a petition, a bill, or a volume--among the records of the first 79 Congre88e8.
Bound volumes of House records presented one of the greatest problems. Beginning with the First Congress the House bound a greater proportion of its records than did the Senate, and for some time it bound them without regard to type or origin so that many volumes were mere heterogeneous collections. Hundreds of volumes were mislabeled and by the time they came to the National Archives many others had lost all traces of identification through deterioration. The identification and, in some cases, the complete reassembling of like materials into new volumes for rebinding and relabeling at the Government Printing Office was a slow and painstaking process. Even individual documents within volumes had to be traced through the House Journals for proper identification.
Because of the House's appreciation of the enormousness of the project the Independent Offices Appropriation Act, 1948, provided for additional personnel in the National Archives to carry it on. John Andrews, then Clerk of the House, his assistant, H. Newlin Vegill, and William Duvall and Kenneth Sprankle of the staff of the House Appropriations Committee visited the National Archives to inspect the progress of the work and to make suggestion about the way it should be done. The present Clerk of the House, Ralph R. Roberts, has shown great interest in the work also. With the help of the additional personnel and the experience gained in similar work on the Senate records, it has been possible to organize the House records more quickly and efficiently than was the case with those of the Senate.
The records described in this inventory are those of the first 79 Congresses, 1789-1946, amounting to about 9,100 cubic feet. They consist almost wholly of those pertaining to the official business of the House that were filed with the Clerk of the House or that were created by his Office. One does not, therefore, find described here the papers of the Speaker of the House or the personnel and financial records of the Clerk (with minor exceptions) and the Sergeant at Arms. Nor are the papers of individual . House Members described here. In the past there was some confusion and uncertainty concerning the distinction between committee and other public records of Congress and those that pertained solely to the business of a Member's office. To clarify this situation the following provision was included in the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946+
All committee hearings, records, data, charts, and files shall be kept separate and distinct from the congressional office records of the Member serving as chairman of the committee; and such records shall be the property of the Congress and all members of the committee and the respective Houses shall have access to such records.
Some committees have retained for their current use records of the 79th and earlier Congressos.
In the inventory records are grouped first by Congresses and then, in accordance with the major functions of the House, under the following headings: (1) records of legislative proceedings, (2) records of impeachment proceedings, and (3) records of the Office of the Clerk, Records of legislative proceedings include minute books and journals, bills and resolutions, committee reports and papers, messages from the President, reports and communications from Government agencies, and petitions and memorials. Election records have also been filed with the legislative records for convenience. Impeachment records include petitions and letters making accugations against officeholders, and letters, reports, and other documents that could be used as bases for drafting articles of impeachment. Records of the Office of the Clerk include bill books, records of orders of the day, various kinds of registers, printing accounts, and copies of correspondence of the Clerk.
The symbols assigned to the records in the inventory were devised by the National Archives to signify, in the order named, the Congress, one of the three major functions, and further subdivisions. This system is similar to the one used for the classification of Senate records. The records are arranged in the same order in which they are listed. When the records to which one symbol is assigned have an arrangement within themselves, that arrangement is specified.'
When the records described in an entry consist entirely of bound volumes, the number of volumes is given in the entry heading. When the records consist of only unbound material or of both bound and unbound material, only the linear measurement is given.
Closely related to the records of the House are records of joint committees of Congress. They have been assigned by the National Archives to Record Group 128, Records of Joint Committees of Congress, and thus are not described in this inventory. Also closely related are records of the Senate, Record Group 46, which have been described in Preliminary Inventory No. 23 (1950. 284 p.).
Separate inventories are being prepared of the records of some of the special committees of the House of Representatives and also of some standing committee records. Inventories thus far published appear in the list of references.
In addition to the men whose names appear on the title page as compilers of this inventory, George P. Perros, José D. Lizardo, and James C. Brown participated in arranging the records and drafted some of the series entries.
RECORDS OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
FIRST CONGRESS, 1789-91
Second Session, January 4-August 12, 1790
Records of Legislative Proceedings
JOURNALS. 2 vols. 5 in.
Legislative journal, 1st and 2d sessions (1A-A]) and 3d session (14A2).
BILIS ORIGINATING IN THE HOUSE. 1 in.
Engrossed House bills (1A-B2), arranged numerically.
COMMITTEE REPORTS AND PAPERS. 1/2 in.
Transcribed copies of reports and papers of various select committees (1A-C1); and the select committees on claims (1A-C2). Arranged chronologically within each group.
REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS SUBMITTED TO THE HOUSE. 10 in.
Reports and communications, including transcribed copies, from the Secretary of State (1A-D2); the Secretary of the Treasury, including 1 volume (11-12); the Secretary of Viar (1A-D3); the Postmaster General (1AD4); and the Attorney General (1A-D5). Arranged chronologically within each group.
PETITIONS AND MEMORIALS AND RELATED DOCUMENTS. 1/2 in.
Various subjects (1A-El.l), arranged chronologically.
Record of the Office of the Clerk
RECORD BOOK. 1 vol. 2 in.
Petition book, Ist Congress, 1st session, to 3d Congress, 2d session (1C-A2).
RECORDS OF COM/ITTEE REPORTS. 1 vol. 3 in.
Transcribed reports of select committees, 1st Congress, 1st session, 4th Congress, 1st session (1C-B1). Arranged chronologically.
PECORIS OF REPORTS FROM EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS. 7 vols. 1 ft.
Transcribed reports and communications from the Secretary of State, ist Congress, 1st session, to 4th Congress, Ist session (16-ci); the Secretary of the Treasury, 1st Congress, 2d session, to 2d Congress, 1st session (10-2); the Treasurer of the United States, 1st Congress, 2d session, to 2d Congress, 1st session (16-c3); and the Secretary of War, 1st Congress,
2d session, to 2d Congress, 2d session, including a volume of confidential reports and communications (16-C4). Arranged chronologically within each group.
INDEX. 1 vol. 2 in.
Index to transcribed committee reports and to transcribed reports and communications from executive departments, 1st Congress, 1st session, to 14 th Congress, 2d session (10-01).
SECOND CONGRESS, 1791-93
First Session, October 24, 1791-May 8, 1792
Records of Legislative Proceedings
JOURNALS. 2 vols. 4 in.
Legislative journal, 1st session (24-Al) and 2d session (2A-A2).
BILLS ORIGINATING IN THE HOUSE. 1/2 in.
Engrossed House bills. (2A-81), arranged chronologically.
COMMITTEE REPORTS AND PAPERS. Less than 1/4 in.
Records of various select committees (2A-ci), arranged chronologically.
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGES. 1/4 in.
Documents submitted by the Secretary of War to accompany messages of Jan. ll and Dec. 7, 1792 (2A-D1). Arranged chronologically.
agos op 13
REPORTS AND COMMUNICATIONS SUBLIITTED TO THE HOUSE. 7 in.
Reports and communications, including transcribed copies, from the Secretary of Stato (2A-El); the Secretary of the Treasury, including 2 volumes (2A-E2); the Secretary of War (2A-E3); and the Postmaster General (2A-E4). Arranged chronologically within each group.
OTHER RECORDS. Less than 1/4 in.
Excerpts from official correspondence about the security of the frontier of Georgia, 1793 (2A-Fi).
Records of the Office of the Clerk
For petition book, see entry 6; and for transcribed reports of select committees, see entry 7.
RECORDS OF REPORTS FROM EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS. 3 vols. 6 in.
16 Transcribed reports and communications from the Secretary of the Treasury, 2d Congress, 1st session, to 4th Congress, 1st session (20-Al); and the Treasurer of the United States, 2d Congress, 2d session, to 3d Congress, 2d session (20-A2). For other reports from the Secretary of the Treasury and the Treasurer, and for reports from the Secretaries of State and War, see entry 8.