Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Finding British Parliamentary Papers in the M.S.U. Libraries, Collections Guide No. 6 (Advanced): Parliamentary, or Sessional, Papers--Access

Parliamentary, or Sessional, Papers--Access

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, 1731-1978/1979 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west (call number=microprint #10)

Here are directions for using the old microcards for patrons that really prefer this format. Go to the Libraries' Hollander MakeCentral on 2nd floor west wing.  The boxes are stored outside the Copy Center area, near the windows.  Microprint is an older micro reproduction technology, 5"x8" opaque cards.  In the Copy Center there are readers that can be used to read these and make copies, but it is somewhat tricky to do because the equipment is designed for use with microfiche cards, which are 4"x6".  To read the bottom portion of the microcard, take it out of the tray, turn it around, and insert the end of the card first.  Then, on the computer screen click twice at the top right to turn the print around and right side up.  It does work; the Copy Center staff will assist you.  Or, you can make an appointment with Agnes Widder.

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, 1978/1979-1992  Hollander MakeCentral 2 west (call number=microfiche J 301 and J 301 .K5 and .K6)

We also have a number of sets of bound volumes in Main stacks containing Sessional Papers on different topics and covering various historical periods, which are described below. Current Sessional Papers may be found on various Internet sites. More information about these follows

One way to find historical official documents is to use the State Papers, which contain the principal documents that were made public in various reigns relating to the political and commercial affairs of Great Britain and her relations with other countries. The M.S.U. Libraries has the following State Papers (this list is arranged chronologically):

British and Foreign State Papers, v. 1-170, 1812/14-1947. JX 103 .A3 Main

State Papers Domestic, Supplementary, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland [1371-1707]. DA 700 .S8 1986 v. 222 Main

State Papers, Domestic and Foreign, Suppression Papers: List and Index [related to suppression of the monasteries]. folio CD 1046 1981 .A55 Oversize, basement west

State Papers Published under Authority of His Majesty's Commission...King Henry VIII. [covers 1509-1547]. DA 25 .B1 1509 v. 1-11 Main

State Papers Domestic, Edward VI, 1547-1553. 8761 reels 1-4 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

Complete State Papers of Mary I, 1553-1558. 14912 reels 1-7 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1558-1575 of Elizabeth I's Reign. 14912 reels 12-50 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1576-1585 of Elizabeth I's Reign. 14912 reels 51-76 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1586-1592 of Elizabeth I's Reign. 14912 reels 77-100 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1593-1603 of Elizabeth I's Reign. 14912 reels 101-123 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1603-1604 of James I's Reign. 15253 reels 121-141 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1618-1623 of James I's Reign. 16594 reels 165-188 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1624-1625 of James I's Reign. 16595 reels 189-209 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic, Charles I to James II. DA 25 .E5 S73 1999 v. 273 Main

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1628-1630 of Charles I's Reign. 17984 reels 1-28 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1631-1633 of Charles I's Reign. 17985 23 reels Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1634-1635 of Charles I's Reign. 17986 22 reels Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1636-1637 of Charles I's Reign. 20060 reels 1-26 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1638-1639 of Charles I's Reign. 20061 reels 1-28 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1640-1642 of Charles I's Reign. 20062 reels 1-27 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1643-1648 of Charles I's Reign. 20063 reels 1-23 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

[State Papers Domestic for the Interregnum, 1649-1656]. 20184 reels 1-64 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic of Queen Anne, 1702-1714. 14897 reels 1-15 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

Complete State Papers Regencies, 1716-1755. 20185 reels 1-13 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic, George I, Typescript Calendar. DA 99 .A35 1977 Main

State Papers Domestic, George I, Index to Lists, Parts I-IV, 1714-1727. folio DA 25 .f68 1981 Oversize, basement west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1714-1722 of the Reign of George I. 15170 reels 1-25 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1727-1736 of the Reign of George II. 16151 reels 1-22 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1737-1745 of the Reign of George II. 16593 reels 1-25 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1746-1750 of the Reign of George II. 17011 reels 101-120 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1751-1760 of the Reign of George II. 17982 reels 1-24 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

State Papers Domestic for the Years 1760-1782 of the Reign of George II. 17436 reels 1-20 Hollander MakeCentral 2 west

The M.S.U. Libraries' collections are extraordinarily rich in 18th-Century materials. Included among these riches is a bound set of House of Commons Sessional Papers of the Eighteenth Century in 147 volumes. The call number is J 301 f.K6 1975 Main stacks (oversize books). The volumes include bills (public and private), reports, and accounts and papers from 1715-1800. The volumes are arranged chronologically. The last two volumes of the set have "List" on the call number; these are the index volumes. Here a researcher will find a list of sessional papers by date, a numerical list of papers ordered to be printed, an alphabetical index by document title of document, and a subject index (the latter is the last item in the second "List" volume.)

The Irish University Press began reprinting parliamentary papers in topical series in the late 1960s. M.S.U. Libraries owns the topical volumes listed below, which are shelved in Main in the call number area for books on each topic. Some volumes, those with "f" in the call number are in the oversize book section. We also have several of the index volumes to this set, which are described later on in this guide in the section on printed indexes to the Sessional Papers.

AGRICULTURE

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Select Committee Appointed to Inquire into the State of Agriculture and Agricultural Distress. First and Second Reports with Minutes of Evidence and Appendices. (c1968). Originally published 1836.
KJ f.A32 A44 1968 Main oversize

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Select Committee on Agricultural Customs. Report with Minutes of Evidence and Index. (c1968). Originally published 1848.
KJ f.A32 A45 Main oversize

ALCOHOLISM

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Select Committee Appointed to Inquire into the Extent, Causes, and Consequences of the Prevailing Vice of Intoxication Among the Labouring Classes of the United Kingdom. Report...with Minutes of Evidence, and Appendix. (c1968). Originally published 1834.
HV 5445 .A43 1968 Main

CHILDREN'S EMPLOYMENT

Great Britain. Children's Employment Commission. Appendix to First Report of Commissioners (Mines.) (c1968). Originally published 1842.
HD 6247 .M6152 1968 Main

POOR

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Select Committee to Inquire into the Administration of the Relief of the Poor under the Provisions of the Poor Law Amendment Act. Report, with Minutes of Evidence and Appendices. (c1968). Originally published 1837.
HV 245 f.A3 19768 Main oversize

RELIGION

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Select Committee on the Laws and Ordinances in Foreign States Respecting the Regulation of Their Roman Catholic Subjects in Ecclesiastical Matters. Report...with Supplementary Papers, Appendix and Index. (c1968). Originally published 1851.
BX 1790 f.G74 1968 Main oversize

WEAVERS

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Select Committee on Hand-Loom Weavers' Petitions. Report... with Minutes of Evidence and Index.... (c1968). Originally published 1834.
HD 8039 f.T42 G7 1968 Main oversize

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Select Committee on Hand-Loom Weavers' Petitions. Report... with Minutes of Evidence and Index.... (c1968). Originally published 1835.
HD 8039 f.T42 G72 1968 Main oversize

For the 20th Century, researchers should be aware that the M.S.U. Libraries has command papers bound in the Main stacks from 1956/57 through December, 1985. The call number for this set is J 301 .H5 in Main. Remember that the command papers are only part of the Sessional Papers. To find House papers, bills, and reports for this period, researchers need to use the microprint set. There is no indexing within the bound volumes of command papers. To find citations on various topics researchers need to use the various printed index to the Sessional Papers described farther on in this guide.

Another very useful printed set in the Main stacks is the House of Commons Weekly Information Bulletin. The call number is J 301 .K856. Our holdings in paper begin with 1979/80 and continue to 1988/89. This Bulletin is available on the Internet currently at the Official Documents site and at the UK Parliament site. The purpose of this source is to provide information on issues under consideration. This has a list of bills (public and private) that were before the House including title, sponsor, and bill numbers. Committee membership rosters are included, and also white and green papers recently received, European Communities organization documents received, and names of MPs elected in recent by elections. This is an easy way to identify topics of proposed legislation that would make interesting term papers.

Researchers will be using the microprint and microfiche House of Commons Sessional Papers or the Internet for the years and topics for which we do not have bound volumes of documents. The many printed indexes to these are described below. The Internet and other electronic indexing are discussed after this. Occasionally, there are indexes at the conclusions of the Parliamentary sessions in the microform material. References to Sessional Papers traditionally follow this form:

Document title, session year, paper number (if given; for example, the Command number), volume number within the session year, and volume page number.
Example: 1860 (1017) XXII, 251

Most of the printed indexes contain usage directions which library staff and researchers will need to use despite the annotations below. The introductions to these works contain very full explanations of the governmental activities of the period concerned. Indexing is best for the 19th and early 20th Centuries, at which time the British Empire was at its zenith and the British government was a progressive model for all the world in its investigations of the economic and social problems associated with modernization. Those who wish to research such topics as the impact of industrialization, progressive enfranchisement of the middle classes, the history of industrial regulation, and the growth of the governmental machinery of the welfare state have in the Sessional Papers a wealth of primary source material. There are name indexes, too, which make it possible to trace the career activities of particular statesmen. Unfortunately for the foreign policy researcher, though, many of these indexes do not cover foreign affairs. We do have a superior index for the 19th Century, and this does have indexing for materials about Colonial development. Pay particular attention to the dates the indexes cover, overall arrangement, and the kinds of documents included and excluded. This list is arranged chronologically.

 

Michigan State University