A working database of Virginia legislators from the Jamestown settlement to the present day is almost complete, just in time for the 400th anniversary of the first meeting of the House Burgesses.
The House Clerk’s Office has finished the bulk of the multi-year project that traces members, leaders, committees and locations of the lower chamber of Virginia’s state legislature since its inception in 1619 in Jamestown.
The Database of House Members — called DOME after the dome in the rotunda of Thomas Jefferson’s Capitol design — was one of House Clerk Paul Nardo’s top priorities when he was elected in 2011.
“Launching DOME at the start of the 400th anniversary of the Virginia General Assembly (1619-2019) not only is apt but in keeping with the House Clerk’s Office long tradition of and well-deserved reputation for providing dependable, high-quality services in a very timely and customer- friendly manner,” Nardo said in a statement.
Nardo and his team weren’t able to track down the same amount of information for every former member, so the project includes a feedback tool for people to submit research or other verifiable information to be added to the database.
A complete version of the site should be available by the spring.
“Virginia has long been recognized as the birthplace of America,” said Speaker of the House Kirk Cox, R-Colonial Heights. “Leaders of our commonwealth were the founders of the United States’ ongoing experiment in representative self-government, a topic I relished sharing with my students for 30 years as a high school civics education teacher.”
“Since the story of American democracy began in Virginia and endures even now in 2019 with citizen-lawmakers continuing to serve our commonwealth, I’m delighted to join with the dedicated team of talented professionals who are the House Clerk’s office in making this timely, innovative educational resource accessible to the public.”