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The Senate Historical Office collects and provides information on important events, precedents, dates, statistics, and historical comparisons of current and past Senate activities for use by members and staff, the media, scholars, and the general public.

Senate Historical Office


Oral History Project

Photo Collection

Senate Archives

Senate Stories Blog

Special Features

Civil War Sesquicentennial

Civil Rights Act at 50

Classic Senate Speeches

Featured Biographies

States in the Senate

Historical Highlights

Institutional Development of the Senate

At the Constitutional Convention, the framers deliberated at length over the creation of the U.S. Senate.  The Senate has evolved into a complex legislative body, while remaining true to its constitutional origins.

Origins and Foundations of the Senate

An Institutional Bibliography, 1789-present (PDF)

Idea of the Senate


Learn more about historic dates and events in the Senate.

Senate Chronology, 1787 to the Present

Civil War Senate Chronology

Civil Rights Act at 50 Chronology

Powers & Procedures

Senate Investigations

Expulsion Cases

Censure Cases

Brief History and First Facts

Get a brief overview of the history of the Senate and learn some interesting facts.

Brief History of the Senate

Famous Firsts and Records


Retrieve statistical lists put together by the Senate Historical Office.

Historical Statistics

Party Division in the Senate, 1789-present

Old Senate Ledger

Discovered in 2002, this financial ledger details nearly a century of salary and mileage payments to Senators, from 1790 to 1881. The original is now with the National Archives. Link to the digitized version above.

History of the House

Link to tables of information on the history of the House of Representatives.

Related Items

Interested in related materials? Take a look at these Virtual Reference Desk subjects for more information.






Minorities in the Senate

Oath of Office

Senate Chamber

Senate Office Buildings


Traditions & Symbols

Women in the Senate