GPO Digitizes All Congressional Directories Back to The 1800S

  • Last Updated: September 12, 2023
  • Published: September 12, 2023


The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has completed an effort to digitize and make available all historic Congressional Directories on GovInfo, the one-stop site to authentic information published by the Federal Government. The public now has free and easy access to nearly 130 years of additional directories and can explore directories from the 41st Congress (1869–1870) through the 117th Congress (2021-2022). Future Congressional Directories will continue to be released on GovInfo as they are completed.

“GPO is proud to make available these historic Congressional Directories in another step toward cultivating an America Informed,” said GPO Director Hugh Nathanial Halpern. “We hope the public enjoys exploring these directories which are rich with information on our Nation’s past and present leaders. Congratulations to our team on completing this effort.”

Historically, the Congressional Directory has been one of the most comprehensive and detailed resources for identifying the components of the three branches of the Federal Government. It includes short biographies of each member of the Senate and House, as well as terms of service and contact information for members of Congress. In addition, it provides descriptions of various Executive branch departments and Judiciary information.

A few notable people featured in these volumes are:

  • Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress
  • Sam Rayburn, longest tenured Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
  • John F. Kennedy, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate prior to becoming 35th president of the United States
  • Richard Nixon, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives prior to becoming 37th President of the United States
  • Gerald Ford, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives prior to becoming 38th President of the United States
  • Dalip Singh Saund, the first Indian American and the first person of any Asian descent in Congress 
  • Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress

The Congressional Directory serves as the official handbook for Congress and is also widely used by Federal Agency officials and the general public.