We've had many requests for old seating charts over the years, sometimes for family reasons. One time a son wanted to sit where his father had spent so much time; another time a man asked about his grandfather who served in the 1930s.
Legislators frequently refer to their seatmates on the floor of the House or Senate. When first elected, a neophyte legislator has built-in tutors in surrounding chairs. Seatmates can be valuable allies for seasoned legislators. A 2007 profile of former Sen. Don Betzold in the Legal Ledger noted that he was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat who could be trusted to toe the party line on key issues. "But that's not the primary reason the last four DFL Senate leaders have made him their seatmate - the person they trust to monitor floor proceedings when they are distracted by other business. The primary reason is that Betzold is acutely attuned to detail."*
The Library's "House and Senate Seating Charts" page leads to a substantial archive. We used the electronic versions kept by the House and Senate, and scanned the older ones in our collection. Files in the House Chief Clerk's Office yielded a few more (and some remain to be scanned).
There are a couple of interesting details on the 1929 Senate seating chart. The reporters sit at the front of the chamber, and the chart was created by the Engineering Department of the Minnesota Railroad Commission, which explains the blueprint-like printing of the names.
*"Profiling the Legislature: Early Life Lessons in Getting Past Obstacles Have Served the Senator from Fridley Well," Legal Ledger, July 30, 2007