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Oral History Project

Richard A. Baker Senate Historian (1975–2009)

Senate Historian Richard Baker

Dick Baker came to Washington in 1968 to join the Legislative Reference Service. He later served briefly as Senate curator and then became director of research for the Government Research Corporation. When the Senate established the Historical Office in 1975, Baker accepted the position of Senate historian. During Dick Baker's tenure as historian (1975–2009) the Historical Office grew from a small staff of three historians and a secretary in the attic of the Capitol Building to a nine-person office of historians, researchers, editors, and archivists with an office in the Hart Senate Office Building. As the collector and keeper of the institution's memory, the Senate Historical Office, under Baker's leadership, quickly earned a reputation for providing professional, non-partisan service. In this oral history interview, Baker recalls the challenges and triumphs he and his staff experienced during the Historical Office's first 30 years.


Scholarly citation: "Richard A. Baker: Senate Historian, 1975–2009," Oral History Interviews, May 27, 2010, to September 22, 2010, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Disclaimer: The Senate Historical Office has a strong commitment to oral history as an important part of its efforts to document institutional change over time. Oral histories are a natural component to historical research and enhance the archival holdings of the Senate and its members. Oral histories represent the personal recollections and opinions of the interviewees, however, and should not be considered as the official views or opinions of the U.S. Senate, of the Senate Historical Office, or of other senators and/or staff members. The transcripts of these oral histories are made available by the Senate Historical Office as a public service.