Teachers

Finding Primary Sources

Activity 5

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 House of Representatives at the National Archives

Begin by searching for your topic in the Table of Contents of the Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives 1789 - 1989.

  • Visit the Table of Contents
    1. Does your topic appear?
      ___ yes (Continue with this activity.)
      ___ no (Return to the Activity Menu.)

    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 House committee.)

    3. Go to the Guide's Table of Contents and find the chapter number you found in step B.

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

    5. Click on your chapter. The page that appears lists the contents of the chapter.

    6. Look at the range of numbers next to each entry, determine the location of the number you wrote down in part B, and click on that subchapter.

    7. Write down the name of the subchapter or subcommittee here:
      __________________________________________________________

    8. Find the number you wrote down in 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: (These numbers help narrow down which congress produced your records. For your information, the number to the left of the hyphen identifies which congress created the records and the number to the right of the hyphen identifies the type of record or series and file number.) __________________________________________________________

    9. Records of the United States House of Representatives in the National Archives are housed in the National Archives Building at the Center for Legislative Archives, 7th and Pennsylvania, Washington, DC 20408. You must contact an archivist there to determine what can be done to locate and provide copies of specific records that may be of interest to you. Use our sample letter to compose your message.

    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 the Online Catalog

    Activity 4: Using the Guide to the Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives

    Good luck with your project!

    Activity Menu Page

    Teachers >

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

    .