House Seeks More Applicants for Historian Job

Posted April 20, 2004 at 6:15pm

House officials will extend their search for the chamber’s new Historian until mid-May in an attempt to cull a larger pool of candidates.

House Administration Committee leaders along with Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl elected to push back the deadline for applicants by nearly a month and a half.

“Everyone involved with this search process is committed to finding the best candidate out there for this important position, so the decision was made to extend the deadline through mid-May, at which point the Clerk and others will evaluate where the process is,” said Brian Walsh, spokesman for House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio).

The Historian, who will work in the Office of History and Preservation, will provide information to lawmakers and their staffs, as well as give public lectures and take part in panel discussions.

According to an advertisement for the post, which requests applicants have an advanced degree in American history, the Historian will also work on exhibit content for the Capitol Visitor Center, and develop oral history programs and photographic archives.

Salary for the job is set at $103,969.

“Chairman Ney … has been very pleased with the great progress that had been made in recent years to preserve the history of the U.S. House and he believes this new position is an important addition to the Office of History and Preservation,” Walsh said.

“All interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to contact the Office of the Clerk.”

This is the first time in nearly a decade the House has sought its own official Historian. House leadership eliminated the position in 1995, when then-Historian Christina Jeffrey sparked controversy by commenting on a high school course on the Holocaust.

Following that incident, the Historian’s office merged with the Legislative Resource Center, and archival duties were later transferred to the Clerk’s research and reference department. House Administration officials reorganized the LRC in 2000, creating an office of historical services.

More recently, in 2002, the House Administration panel approved a plan to restore the chamber’s historical organization with the creation of the Office of History and Preservation, under the Clerk’s supervision.

The new history office, headed by historian Kenneth Kato, is responsible for maintaining House records and historical publications such as the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.