To supplement the official records of Congress housed at the Center, the Center for Legislative Archives maintains other materials to its holdings.
- Clifford K. Berryman Political Cartoon Collection
Oral History and Research Interviews
- Isaac Bassett Manuscript Collection
A collection of 2,400 original pen-and-ink drawings by Clifford K. Berryman from the U.S. Senate Collection is housed at the Center for Legislative Archives. Berryman was Washington's best known and most-admired graphic commentator on politics in the first half of the 20th century. Berryman's career as a political cartoonist began in the late 1880s with the Washington Post and continued in 1907 with the Evening Star. Berryman's career for the Evening Star extended over forty years, until his death in 1949.
The cartoons comment on Washington politics, congressional issues, presidential elections, and both World Wars. The collection also includes approximately 230 cartoons by Jim Berryman, Clifford's son. This collection of Clifford and Jim Berryman cartoons are in the pubic domain.
Reproductions of all Clifford and Jim Berrymans' cartoons are available for research online in the Nationl Archives' Online Public Access (OPA) system.
Visit the Clifford Berryman Online Exhibit.
Oral history and research interviews add detailed information to the textual records of Congress. Oral histories add to our understanding of patterns and traditions in Congress and to our familiarity with Congressional heroes, triumphs, and failures. They also provide introductions to the decisions and actions taken throughout the legislative process that are rarely documented.
The Center's researchers can obtain the fullest and most detailed documentation of how the legislative process actually works by using this collection.
Oral Histories and Research Interviews of the Center for Legislative Archives
(Interviewees are listed alphabetically)
Oral Histories of Senate Staff Members
(Compiled by the Senate Historical Office)
Since 1976, the Senate Historical Office has collected a series of oral history interviews with former senators and retired members of the Senate staff. The Historical Office uses information gained through these oral histories for its own reference work, but also makes them available to researchers by depositing copies in the Center for Legislative Archives, as well as the Senate Library, the Library of Congress, and a microfiche edition distributed by Scholarly Resources, Inc. Oral History Transcripts available at the Center for Legislative Archives.
On December 5, 1831 12-year-old Isaac Bassett was selected by Senator Daniel Webster as a page in the U.S. Senate. Bassett was the second page ever selected. In 1838 Bassett was promoted to messenger, and in 1861 he was administered the oath as assistant doorkeeper to the Senate, a post he held until his death in 1895. Having a position on the floor of the Senate allowed Bassett to witness the great debates leading up to the U.S. Civil War, Reconstruction and the Gilded Age.
In preparation for writing a memoir of his experience working for the Senate, Bassett saved notes, anecdotes, newspaper clippings and personal observations. Although he never completed his memoir, his papers were preserved and eventually donated to the U.S. Senate. The Senate has transferred them to the Center for Legislative Archives, where they will be maintained and preserved as part of the U.S. Senate Collection.
The records have been scanned and are available in the National Archives' Online Public Access (OPA) system. They have also been microfilmed and are available in the microfilm reading room in Washington DC.
There are two finding aids for this collection. One is a description of the collection with a subject index and the other is a name index:
If you have problems accessing these records, please contact the Center by phone at (202) 357-5350 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.