Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 12: Committee on House Administration

Chapter 12. Records of the Administration Committee and Its Predecessors

Table of Contents

Records of the House Administration Committee and Its Predecessors from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States, 1789-1988

Committees discussed in this chapter:
Records of the House Administration Committee, 1947- 1968 History and Jurisdiction

12.59 The House Administration Committee was created on January 2, 1947, under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. The new committee merged the functions and jurisdictions of the Committees on Accounts; Enrolled Bills; Memorials; Election of the President, Vice President, and Representatives in Congress; the Library; Printing; Disposition of Executive Papers; and the three committees on elections. Its jurisdiction included all legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other material relating to the following subjects:

    a) Appropriations from the contingent fund; (b) auditing and settling of all accounts whic h may be charged to the contingent fund; (c) employment of persons by the House, including clerks for Members and committees, and reporters of debates; (d) except as provided in clause 15 (d), matters relating to the Library of Congress and the House Library, statuary and pictures, acceptance or purchase of works of art for the Capitol, the Botanic Gardens, management of the Library of Congress, purchase of books and manuscripts, erection of monuments to the memory of individuals; (e) except as provided in clause 15 (d), matters relating to the Smithsonian Institution and the incorporation of similar institutions; (f) expenditure of contingent fund of the House; (g) matters relating to printing and correction of the Congressional Record; (h) measures relating to accounts of the House generally; (i) measures relating to assignment of office space for Members and committees; (j) measures relating to the disposition of useless executive papers; (k) measures relating to the election of the President, Vice President, or Members of Congress, corrupt practices, contested elections, credentials and qualifications, and Federal elections generally; (l) measures relating to services to the House, including the House Restaurant and administration of the House Office Buildings and of the House wing of the Capitol; (m) measures relating to the travel of Members of the House; (n) such committee shall also have the duty of: 1) arranging a suitable program for each day observed by the House of Representatives as a memorial day in memory of Members of the Senate or House of Representatives who have died during the preceding period, and to arrange for the publication of the proceedings thereof; 2) examining all bills, amendments, and joint resolutions. . . to see that they are correctly enrolled . . . and present the same, when they shall have originated in the House, to the President. . . and report the fact and date of such presentation to the House; 3) reporting to the Sergeant at Arms of the House the travel of Members of the House.4

12.60 This complex jurisdiction is reflected in the subcommittee structure and the joint committee seats designated for members of the committee. Between 1947 and 1968 the standing subcommittees and joint committees shown below retained basically the same structure, although there were slight jurisdictional and name changes, and several special subcommittees were established temporarily. The basic committee structure was:

  • Subcommittees:
    • Accounts
    • Elections
    • Printing
    • Enrolled Bills, Library, Disposition of Executive Papers, and Memorials

  • Joint Committees:
    • Disposition of Executive Papers
    • Library
    • Printing
12.61 The records of the full committee and each of the standing subcommittees for each Congress, are arranged by Congress and thereunder by organizational unit and record type. The various types of files or series of files described below appear regularly in the records of the full committee or subcommittee for each Congress. The footage figures given in the table below are cumulative.

Records of the Committee on House Administration, 80th-90th Congresses (1947-1968)


Record TypeVolumeCongresses (Dates)
Minutes 3 feet 80th-90th (1947-68)
Petitions and Memorials 2 feet 83d (1953-54), 85th (1957-58), 88th-90th (1963-68)
Committee Papers 331 feet 80th-90th (1947-68)
Bill Files 42 FEET 80th-90th (1947-68)
Total378 feet  
Committee Records Summary Table

12.62 The records are arranged by Congress and thereunder by organizational unit--full committee, subcommittees--and thereunder by record type. The records of the full committee (63 ft.) for each Congress include bill files arranged by subcommittee of referral, which consist of copies of the printed bills, reports, and Public (slip) Laws; and committee papers generally consisting of a reading file of outgoing correspondence, and a small alphabetical administrative subject file. The minutes of full committee meetings may be filed under "M" in the administrative subject file. Executive communications may be retained among the records of the full committee or they may be among those of the subcommittee to which they were referred.

12.63 The records of the Subcommittee on Accounts (185 ft.) consist of accounting documents, vouchers, detailed lists of disbursements, and bills for telephone and telegraph services (130 ft.), and a number of series of general subcommittee records (55 ft.). Many of the following series appear in the records of each Congress: stationery requisitions from committees and officers of the House; statements of mileage of Members; resolutions for funding special studies and investigations by committees; a general subject file; minutes of subcommittee meetings (which may be filed under "M" in the general subject file); and an authorizations file for committees and officers of the House. Transcripts for open and executive session hearings are often included in the appropriate funding resolution or authorization files. Occasionally, there are special files created for particular studies or investigations. Examples of these are a study of the positions and salaries of officers of the House in the 1955-56 records (84A-F8.14), and a 1961-62 study of the problem of residences for congressional pages (87A-F7.9).

12.64 The records of the Elections Subcommittee (57 ft.), generally include, for each Congress, the minutes of the subcommittee, a series of printed bills and resolutions with accompanying reports, transcripts of hearings and correspondence related to the legislation. There are records on contested elections for most Congresses. The records of the subcommittee in odd numbered Congresses contain Certificates of Ascertainment for the Presidential electors. The records of the subcommittee contain significant accumulations of records relating to poll tax legislation in the 1947-51 period (80A-D13, 81A-F8.3); bills designed to bar "unAmerican political parties" from elections in 1947-48 (80A-D13); files on the Hatch Act between 1949 and 1960 (81A-F8.3, 83A-F8.4, 85A-F8.17, 86A-F8.13); and, a 1961-62 study of State election laws prepared for use in the revision of the Federal election laws (87a- F7.13).

12.65 The records of the Printing Subcommittee (16 ft.) consist primarily of printing resolutions, and minutes of subcommittee meetings.

12.66 The records from the Subcommittee on the Library, Enrolled Bills, Disposition of Executive Papers, and Memorials (50 ft.) contain for each Congress a general legislative subjects file, lists of federal records proposed for disposal by the Archivist of the United States, enrolled bills files which contain White House receipts and receipts from the National Archives, and in most cases a folder of subcommittee minutes.

12.67 Significant accumulations of records for the following subjects related to the jurisdiction of the Library Subcommittee include a proposal to fund construction of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, MO (83A-F8.6); the National Historical Publications Commission (85A-F8.26); a proposal to name the rose the national flower (85A- F8.26); a study of depository libraries (85A-F8.30); and, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Commission (87A-F7.18).

12.68 Records of Special Subcommittees include the following:

  • Special Subcommittee on Electrical and Mechanical Office Equipment: 84th-90th Congresses, 1955-68 (2 ft.)
  • Special Subcommittee on Contracts: 89th-90th Congresses, 1965-68 (2 ft.)
  • Special Subcommittee to Study Federal Printing and Paperwork: 84th-85th Congresses, 1955-58 (30 in.)
  • Special Subcommittee on Audits: 86th-88th Congresses, 1959-64 (1 ft.)
  • Special Subcommittee on Police: 90th Congress, 1967-68 (5 in.)
  • Special Subcommittee on Parking: 84th-88th Congresses, 1955-64 (6 in.)
  • Special Subcommittee on the House Restaurant: 84th Congress, 1955-56
    (1 inch)

Related Records

12.69 There are records (5 ft.) of the 90th Congress Select Committee, which, Pursuant to H.Res. 1 investigated the right of Adam Clayton Powell to hold a seat in the House and records of investigation by the House Administration Subcommittee on Contracts (3 in.), which led to the creation of the select committee.

12.70 Select Committees on Campaign Contributions (or Expenditures) were created in each Congress between 1927 and 1974. There are records (70 ft.) for the select committees during the 70th and 78th through 88th Congresses (1927-29 and 1943-64). During the 90th Congress a new standing Committee on Standards of Official Conduct was established with jurisdiction over House election races. The records of these committees may contain information related to the House Administration Committee's jurisdiction over Federal elections.

Table of Contents


4. U.S. Congress, House Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and rules of the House of Representatives of the United States, 90th Congress, H. Doc. 529, 89th Cong., 2d sess., 1967, p. 339. [Back to text]

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-245). By Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.