Virginians can now explore the history of who has served in the House, which is marking its 400th anniversary as America’s first law-making body. The House Clerk’s Office has launched an online database dubbed DOME (Database of House Members), chronicling the people elected to the House of Delegates or its predecessor, the House of Burgesses, over the past four centuries.
Set against today’s national conversation over gender equality, the database shows a stark disparity: It contains more than 9,000 men — but just 91 women.
Laura van Assendelft, a professor of political science at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, Virginia, called the DOME project “long overdue.”
“The typically limited and inconsistent availability of data at the state and local levels is such a source of frustration for scholars in the state and local subfield,” she said. Van Assendelft said she believes the database will inspire more research into the history of women in Virginia’s government.
Direct to DOME (Database of House Members)