British Parliamentary Papers: Home

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Introduction

On-line British Parliamentary Papers from the 18th-20th century are now available.

British Parliamentary publications can be extremely useful for current and historical research on a variety of topics. There are three basic categories of Parliamentary publications, all divided between Commons and Lords: Reports of debates, also known as Hansard, which contain the answers to Prime Minister's questions and the text of statements made in debate; Journals, which are the official record of Parliamentary business; and Parliamentary Papers, which include bills and papers. House of Commons papers include reports and minutes of committees, annual reports of various government departments, financial papers, and reports of investigations.

House of Lords papers are similar, but there are far fewer published. There are two major types of papers: Sessional and Command Papers. Sessional Papers are numbered sequentially within a session; with each new session, the numbering begins anew. Sessional papers can be identified by a number in parentheses. Command Papers, so called because they are published "by command of Her Majesty," tend to be more important versions of the same types of papers. They can be identified by a number in square brackets, and are issued in sequential order across sessions based on the following numbering scheme:

The Historic Hansard (1803-2005) has been digitized and is available at no cost on-line. It's an exciting new resource.

Numbering Scheme

1833–69

1 to 4222

1870–99

C.1 to C.9550

1900–1918

Cd.1 to Cd.9239

1919–56

Cmd.1 to Cmd.9889

1956–86

Cmnd.1 to Cmnd.9927

1986–

Cm.1–

All are located in the Government Publications Department unless otherwise noted.

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