Teachers

Finding Primary Sources

Activity 4

Print out a copy of this page for taking notes while you follow the instructions.

Using the Guide to the Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives

Begin by searching for your topic in the alphabetical index of the Guide to the Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives 1789-1989.

  1. Does your topic appear?
    ___ Yes (Continue with this activity.)
    ___ No (Go to Activity 5.)

  2. Write down the number(s) that appears next to it here: ____________________________
    (The number to the left of the decimal point is a chapter number, and the number to the right of the decimal point is a sequential entry number. Each chapter describes the records of a specific Senate committee.)

  3. Go to the Table of Contents, and find the chapter number you found in step B. (Chapter 1 is An Introduction to Research in the Records of Congress)

  4. Write down the name of the chapter or Senate committee here:
    __________________________________________________________

  5. Click on your chapter. The page that appears begins by describing the committee's records in detail.

  6. Scroll down to the number you copied in step B and read for mention of your topic. If it sounds like something you might be able to use, write down any reference numbers that appear in parentheses next to it, here: (The number to the left of the hyphen identifies which Congress created the records, and the number to the right identifies the type of record or series and file number.)
    _________________________________________________________

  7. Records of the United States Senate in the National Archives are housed in the National Archives Building in the Center for Legislative Archives, 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408. You must contact an archivist there to determine how to locate and obtain copies of specific records that may be of interest to you. Use our sample letter to compose your message.

You have successfully conducted a search using the Guide to the Records of the United States Senate in the National Archives. Good for you!

There are other ways to search online for information about records at the National Archives. You can try:

Activity 1: Using Record Groups

Activity 2: Using the Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States

Activity 3: Using Using the Online Catalog

Activity 5: Using the Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives

Good luck with your project!

Activity Menu Page

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

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