Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 12: Committee on Ventilation and Acoustics

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 Committee on Ventilation and Acoustics (1893- 1911)

History and Jurisdiction

12.40 The standing Committee on Ventilation and Acoustics was established to have jurisdiction over subjects related to the ventilation and acoustics of the Hall of the House of Representatives. The ventilation and acoustics of the House Chamber had been known to be unsatisfactory from 1857 when the chamber was first occupied. Before the establishment of the standing committee, numerous select committees were named to study the problem and suggest solutions. In 1911 the committee was abolished and the subjects in its jurisdiction were included in the jurisdiction of the Committee on Accounts.

Records of the Committee on Ventilation and Acoustics, 53d-61st Congresses (1893-1911) and Predecessor Select Committees.


Record TypeVolumeCongresses (Dates)
Minute Books 1 volume 45th (1877-79), 52d (1891-93)
Docket Books 1 volume 52d (1891-93)
Committee Papers 2 inches 48th (1883-85), 52d-53d (1891-95)
Total2 inches and 2 volumes  
Committee Records Summary Table

12.41 Although special, joint, and standing committees on ventilation and acoustics had existed almost continuously for 50 years, only two inches of unpublished records have been preserved. The minute and docket volumes contain little documentation. Committee papers from the select committee from 1881-83 contain correspondence, drafts of reports, brochures and blueprints for ventilating machines, and drawings of the ventilation system of the House (48A-F46). The committee papers from the standing committee from 1893-95 contain correspondence and drawings of inventions and proposals to alleviate the ventilation problems in the House Hall, as well as a number of letters enumerating the personnel employed in the Capitol, and a critical appraisal of the staff of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol (53A-F45).

Table of Contents

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.