In addition to its 100 senators, the Senate community is comprised of officers and staff who work behind the scenes to help the Senate conduct its business and fulfill its legislative responsibilities.
Article 1, section 3 of the Constitution provides that the vice president of the United States serve as the president of the Senate, and allows the Senate to elect a president pro tempore and other officers as needed. Shortly after the first Congress convened in 1789, the Senate created the positions of secretary of the Senate, sergeant at arms, and chaplain. Over time, as legislative responsibilities grew and became more complex, the Senate hired additional staff, elected new officers, andóbeginning in the 1920sóchose party leaders.
The Senate Historical Office conducts oral history interviews with senators, officers, and staff to record the history and document the evolution of the institution from an insider's perspective. Visit the Oral History Project to read a selection of these interviews.