History of the Archives


The creation of the Bipartisan Management Committee (BMC) by Act 104 of 1979, directed the House of Representatives to establish a more systematic method of record keeping. The BMC, which is made up of the Speaker of the House, the two Leaders, and the two Whips, was directed to:

  • maintain and preserve the books, memoranda, reports, and records of each standing and special committee having permanent research value
  • establish and maintain a library
  • develop uniform policies and procedures for the preservation and/or destruction of papers, documents and other writings of records

The House Archives was initially established as a Records Center to collect committee records, fiscal records, and personnel records. House Rule 45 requires that “records, bills, and other papers in the possession of the committees and subcommittees, upon final adjournment of the House, shall be filed with the Chief Clerk.” The House Archives has been maintaining a complete collection of Committee records since 1979. Other records that were deemed to have permanent research value include records from offices under the Chief Clerk, the Parliamentarian’s Office, and the Speaker’s Office.

Muhlenberg Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House, 1780-1783