U.K. Parliamentary Papers

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Digitally scanned Sessional Papers & supplementary material from Great Britain's House of Commons. (Some House of Lords papers, if presented to the House of Commons.)
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Resource type:
1801 - 2010
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This resources contains the digitally scanned full-text of the House of Commons Sessional Papers, from the 18th century (1701-) through to the 2009/10 parliamentary session.

N.B. The 19th century can also be searched by using Peter Cockton's 5-volume index, Subject Catalogue of the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, 1801-1900,the first thematic listing of the complete set of parliamentary papers. (For more information, see the Introduction to the Subject Catalogue of the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers 1801-1900.)

What's included?

The digitized version of the Sessional Papers (or 'blue books’) which provided information to Parliament on matters of policy and administration. There are 3 categories:

drafts of legislation, to be reviewed through various parliamentary stages. If the Bill passes through these stages, it will become an Act of Parliament.
House Papers
documents from the House & its Committees (Select or Whole House). These include:
  • Reports of Committee
  • Reports of Commissioners: Reports from Commissions appointed by the Crown to investigate social problems, conduct inquiries into events and/or research potential legislation; usually made up of experts in the field.
  • Accounts: Statistical or financial information, originating primarily from the Treasury, the Board of Trade and the War Office/Admiralty.
  • Papers: Correspondence from ambassadors, governors, army officers abroad; commercial, trade and navigation accounts; statistical abstracts (e.g. judicial, taxation); Census data; slavery and slave trade documents; treaties.
Command Papers
Government papers (from Ministers) "conveying information or decisions the Government wishes to draw to the attention of the House, presented ‘by Command of Her Majesty’.

N.B. The Reports of Committee; Reports of Commissioners; Accounts; & Papers were only published separately as such, up to 1979; afterwards, they were classified (included) as “House of Commons Papers” or “Command Papers” (below).

What's not included?

The House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP) does NOT include:

  • the “Debates” (or “Hansard”)
  • the “House of Commons Journal”
  • daily business papers (e.g. Order Papers” or “Votes and Proceedings”.)

N.B. Although HCPP is a collection of House of Commons papers, some papers from the House of Lords are also included, if the House of Lords presented papers to the House of Commons (e.g. reports prepared by Lords Select Committees). These reports would then be included in the House of Commons Papers, and therefore appear in HCPP.

Laurier Library added the 18th century collection in April 2022.

Subjects covered:
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Law and Society
  • Legal Information
  • Political Science
Subject guides:
Alternate titles:
  • HCPP
  • British Parliamentary Papers
  • House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
  • ProQuest U.K. Parliamentary Papers