Roles of the House

Exploring the various roles of staff that serve the PA House of Representatives

1911 House Floor Vignette (20th Century) by House ArchivesPennsylvania House of Representatives Archives

1911 House Floor Photo

These vignettes were used prior to the House Floor panoramic photographs now utilized. The vignettes show headshots of every Member and staff that worked on the House Floor.

House Chaplain

Beginning in 1876, House Chaplains were appointed as officers of the House.  After 1955, people were hired to give prayer only on sessions days. Since the 1990s, local clergy and Members are invited to open session with prayer.


Created in 1858, the main responsibilities of the Postmaster of the PA House of Representatives were to secure, receive, and distribute the mail of the Members and officers of the House. In 1958, mail handling in the House became the responsibility of the mail room staff.


The Doorkeeper was an officer of the House of Representatives from 1682 to 1915. They maintained the opening and closing of the door to the House Chamber while the legislature was in session. The role is now under the Sergeant at Arms Department.

Clerks of the House

Clerks served a variety of roles such as  printing bills and journals, preparing calendars for the Members, and maintaining seat assignments for Members on the House floor. These positions are now under the Chief Clerk. 

Sergeant at Arms

One of the oldest positions with the House, this role originated in 1712.  Today, the Sergeants at Arms’ main duty is to police the Hall of the House and those areas used and maintained by the House and its Members. When the House is in session, they maintain order and decorum.

For more information and the names of these roles within the House, please visit Official Website - PA House Archives Official Website (

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