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Michigan State University

British Victorian Period Research: British Government Documents

This is a guide to doing research on topics about 19th-century Britain and Ireland, meant to be be useful to students in English and in history.

British Government Documents

Finding British Parliamentary Papers in the M.S.U. Libraries, 2007 edition (Beginners) describes documents available in the M.S.U. Libraries in paper, micro, and electronic formats, and provides directions for their location and use. It is primarily useful for research using 18th through 21st century documents. During the rise and zenith of the Empire the British government was often a progressive model for the entire world in its investigations of the economic and social problems associated with modernization. Those wishing to research topics such as the impact of industrialization, progressive enfranchisement of the middle classes, the history of industrial regulation, and growth of the governmental machinery of the welfare state have a wealth of primary source material here. Too, there is a great deal of information to be found in the Parliamentary papers about the world wars, colonial issues, exploration, trade, products, and peoples of the British Colonies.

An older research guide contains more printed sources on the use of the Sessional Papers.

Many scholars need some help to get started using this material. Agnes Widder is available by appointment.

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