Guide to Federal Records

Records of Joint Committees of Congress

(Record Group 128)

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 128.1 Administrative History
  • 128.2 Records of Joint Committees, 1st-50th Congresses 1789-1889
  • 128.3 Records of Joint Committees, 51st-98th Congresses 1890-1984
  • 128.4 Records of Joint Standing Committees 1806-1986
  • 128.5 Records of the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies 1965-89
  • 128.6 Motion Pictures (General)
  • 128.7 Video Recordings (General)

128.1 Administrative History

Note: Joint committees are those whose membership is drawn from both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Records are maintained in separate collections within the record group: the Senate collection, and the House collection. Joint committees perform ceremonial, administrative, investigative, oversight, and legislative duties.

Finding Aids: Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher, comps., Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (1989). Robert W. Coren, Mary Rephlo, David Kepley, and Charles South, comps., Guide to the Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (1989). Charles E. South and James C. Brown, comps., Hearings in the Records of the U.S. Senate and Joint Committees of Congress, SL 32 (1972).

Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.

Specific Restrictions:

U.S. House of Representatives

As specified by House Resolution 5 (Congressional Record, 101st Cong., 1st sess., 1989, 135, pt. 1:72), records under the jurisdiction of the House are open to research after 30 years, except investigative records containing personal data, administrative records relating to personnel, records from hearings that are closed under rule 11 (now House Rule 7), and records for which access is specially designated by order of a committee. Records less than 30 years old that were made public before being transferred to the National Archives are considered open.

U.S. Senate

As specified by Senate Resolution 474 (Congressional Record, 96th Cong., 2d sess., 1980, 126, pt. 23:31188), records under the jurisdiction of the Senate (a) prohibited from disclosure by Executive order or statute are unavailable for public use in accordance with the applicable Executive order or statute; (b) the disclosure of which, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Senate, would not be in the public interest are unavailable for public inspection; (c) relating to the investigation of individuals and containing personal data, personnel records, and records of executive nominations, and not previously made public, are unavailable for public inspection for 50 years after creation; and (d) not otherwise previously made public are unavailable for public inspection for 20 years after creation, except that any Joint Committee may, by action of the full committee, prescribe a different time when any of its records under (c) and (d) may be made available for public use.

Related Records:
Record copies of publications of Joint Committees of Congress in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
Records of the U.S. Senate, RG 46.
Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, RG 233.

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128.2 Records of Joint Committees, 1st-50th Congresses

Textual Records: Manuscript and printed committee reports, letters, exhibits, minutes, and other materials, 1789-1889, relating to joint committees convened on such topics as the District of Columbia (22d Congress, 1831-33; 43d-44th Congresses, 1873-77); a documentary history of the American Revolution (26th Congress, 1839-41); electoral votes (26th Congress, 1839-41; 28th Congress, 1843-45); the Civil War and reconstruction (38th-42d Congresses, 1865-73); epidemic diseases (45th Congress, 1877-79); the census (46th-47th Congresses, 1879-83); American shipbuilding (47th Congress, 1881-83); and the Geological Survey (48th Congress, 1883-85).

Subject Access Terms: LaFayette, Marquis de, death of; Madison, James, death of; Trumbull, John, painter; Washington, George, centennial of.

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128.3 Records of Joint Committees, 51st-98th Congresses

Textual Records: Correspondence, printed materials, staff reports, news clippings, minutes, hearing reports, memorandums, exhibits, and other records of joint committees, 1890-1984, including the following:

Joint Committee on/toVolumeDatesCongresses
Disposition of Useless Papers53 ft.1893-196653d-89th
Commission on Ford's Theatre Disaster3 in.1894-9753d-54th
Revision of the Laws1 ft. 1907-1059th-61st
Fiscal Relations of the District of Columbia5 in.1915-1764th
Rural Credit1 in.1915-1764th
High Cost of Living1 in.1919-2166th
Muscle Shoals, AL4 in.192669th
Civil Service Retirement Act2 in.1925-2769th
Veterans Affairs5 ft.1932-3372d-73d
Investigate Dirigible Disasters1 ft.193373d
Tax Evasion and Avoidance2 in.1937-3975th
Tennessee Valley Authority80 ft.1938-3975th-76th
Reduction of Nonessential Federal Expenditures5 in.1941-4377th
Commemorate the Centennial of the Telegraph1 in.1943-4578th
Organization of Congress1 ft.1944-4678th-79th
Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack40 ft.1945-4679th
Economic Report18 ft.1946-6879th-90th
Labor-Management Relations15 ft.1947-4980th-81st
Housing4 ft.1947-4880th
Congressional Aviation Policy Board24 ft.1947-4880th
Defense Production37 ft.1950-7881st-95th
Postal Services1 in.1951-5382d
Washington (DC) Metropolitan Problems4 in.1957-6085th-86th
Organization of the Congress3 ft.1965-6689th
Congressional Operations10 ft.1971-7692d-94th
Arrangements for the Commemoration of the Bicentennial7 ft.1975-7694th

Finding Aids: Thayer M. Boardman, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of the Records of the Joint Committee to Investigate Dirigible Disasters, 1933," PC 47-1 (1946); Sidney Goldmann, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Special Joint Congressional Committee to Investigate the Tennessee Valley Authority, 1938-39" (1948); Watson G. Caudill and George P. Perros, comps., Records of the Joint Congressional Aviation Policy Board, 1947-48, PI 74 (1954); George P. Perros, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79th Congress (1945-1946)" (1961).

Subject Access Terms: Air transport; Aircraft manufacture; Akron, U.S.S.; Army Pearl Harbor Board; Aviation, combat; Clausen, Maj. Henry C.; Hewitt, Adm. Henry K.; Hart, Adm. Thomas C.; Lighter- than-air craft; Navy Court of Inquiry into Pearl Harbor attack; Roberts Commission; Statutes at Large.

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128.4 Records of Joint Standing Committees

Textual Records: Manuscript committee reports, minutes of meetings, petitions and memorials, correspondence, bills and resolutions, printing proposals, ledgers and charts, studies, statistical data, Congressional and agency publications, pamphlets, press releases, news clippings, administrative papers, general subject files, maps, photographs, and general administrative and financial records of the following committees:

Joint CommitteeVolumeDatesCongresses
On the Library7 ft.1806-19629th-87th
On Printing144 ft.1848-199530th-104th
On Taxation554 ft.1926-8669th-99th
On Atomic Energy406 ft.1946-7779th-95th

Finding Aids: George P. Perros, James C. Brown, and Margery Sly, comps., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, 1946-1964," 1965.

Subject Access Terms: Budget, federal; civil defense; government publications, international exchange of; International Atomic Energy Agency; Library of Congress; Lilienthal, David E.; McMahon, Brien; Nixon, Richard M.; Panel on the Impact of the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy; paper standards; political campaign financing; public debt; radiation; Rockefeller, Nelson A.; Smithsonian Institution; taxes; tax reform; thermonuclear program; ores and raw materials; U.S. Exploring Expedition; weapons tests; Whitfield, Allen.

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128.5 Records of the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies

Textual Records: Subject files, 1988-93.

Motion Pictures: Inauguration of President Lyndon Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey, 1965 (1 reel). Inauguration of President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew, 1969 (1 reel).

Video Recordings: Inauguration of President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush, 1981 (1 item). Inauguration of President George Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle, 1989. Inauguration of President William Clinton and Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., 1993 (1 item).

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128.6 Motion Pictures (General)

See under 128.5.

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128.7 Video Recordings (General)

See under 128.5.

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.

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