[Deschler's Precedents, Contents]
[Recordkeeping and the Precedents]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

[Page xi-xii]
Recordkeeping and the Precedents

    The precedents cited in these volumes are drawn from a 
recordkeeping and research system initiated by me when I first took 
office as Parliamentarian of the House in 1928. Under this system, each 
ruling of the Speaker, Speaker pro tempore, or Chairman of the 
Committee of the Whole, is recorded on a day-to-day basis, supplemented 
with excerpts when available from the Congressional Record. The 
magnitude of this task can hardly be overestimated, many thousands of 
these precedents having been entered in these records since 1928.

[[Page xii]]

    The system involves the drafting of a concise statement of each 
ruling, together with annotations explaining any unusual circumstances 
attending it. These rulings, together with pertinent floor debate and 
other materials, are then placed in a scrapbook prepared for each 
session, for future reference. A special index of the rulings, arranged 
by subject, is prepared at the conclusion of each Congress. This index 
enables the Parliamentarian or his staff to obtain ready access to the 
Speakers' rulings over the past 50 years on any topic.