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Finding British Parliamentary Papers in the M.S.U. Libraries, Collections Guide No. 6 (Advanced): Sources about British Government Documents

This is a guide to doing research with British government documents, particularly Parliamentary documents, emphasizing use of microform and paper materials, those in existence prior to the electronic era.

Sources about British Government Documents

Readers who have more questions about the content of the different types of documents, about the history of their publishing and distribution, about indexes to them, or any other matter may wish to examine any of the following guides to British documents listed here. These will also be useful to library staff when particularly difficult questions arise that resources in this libguide do not help you find an answer to.

Bond, Maurice F. Guide to the Records of Parliament. London, HMSO, 1971. Z 2009 .B6 Main

This describes the complete range of records preserved in the Palace of Westminster, both Houses of Parliament, and all documents which have been presented to the Houses, as well as other papers which have accumulated in the parliamentary and non-parliamentary offices of the Palace. The earliest materials discussed are from the 15th century; the most recent cover 1969/70. This gives detailed attention to the early manuscript material, but also covers more ordinary material. This also discusses records of the Lord Chamberlain, the Clerk of the Crown and other officials.

"British Government Publications." [Keele, Staffordshire,] Keele Information Services, Library Guide no. 1, 1999.

Comfort, A.F. Guide to Government Data, a Survey of Unpublished Social Science Material in Libraries of Government Departments in London. London, Macmillan, 1974. Z 2009 .B69 Main

This is a guide to all the unpublished government data likely to be of interest to research workers in the social sciences and potentially accessible to them from 1940 on. The types of material referred to include reports for internal use, statistics, information on departmental organization and administration, and so on. Materials on the following topics are described: agriculture, food, censorship, civil service, defense, education, employment, environment (housing and transportation), health, social security, population censuses and surveys, overseas development, and treasury.

Cornelius, I.V. British Government Publications, an Introductory Guide. Stirling, Stirling University Library, 1973. Z 2009 .A1 C63 Main

This is another library's helpful guide to British documents. While its explanations are likely to be helpful to staff assisting users, the directions about locations are for the Stirling University Library and for work in British libraries, generally.

Ford, P and G. A Guide to Parliamentary Papers, What they Are, How to Find Them, How to Use Them. Shannon, Ireland, Irish University Press, 1972. Z 2009 .A1 F6 Main

This is a splendid little book upon which the author of this guide based much of the discussion parts of this document. It has a bibliography of indexes to documents and includes the dates of parliamentary sessions from 1801-1950. The previous edition is also helpful at Z 2009 .A1 F6 Main.

Inman, Jane.  Finding Official British Information, Official Publishing in the Digital Age.  Oxford, Chandos Publishing, 2012.  Z 2009 .I56 2012 Main

Johnson, Phillip. Parliament, Inventions and Patents, a Research Guide and Bibliography. London, Routledge, c2018.  Business Library oversize KD 1361 .J64 2018

Goal is to identify all the Parliamentary material relating to patents and supporting inventions up to the beginning of the 1976-77 Session, when the European patent system began.  Deals with the development of patent law, oversight of the work of the Patent Office, and [patent] awards given to individuals, in order for scholars to be able to study more completely the history of technology, invention, and patent law.  8 parts: public legislation (acts and bills), private acts and bills, Old Scottish and Irish Parliaments' Acts relating to inventions, list of statutes and rules passed about parliamentary material, rewards granted by Parliament, the various Parliamentary papers and reports into the patent system, the petitions lodged with Parliament relating to patent law and inventions, questions asked of ministers and mentions of patents and significant mentions of inventions.  Indexed by inventor, company, invention/product, parliamentarian (MP), legislation (by year), cases, and general index. 

Rodgers, Frank. A Guide to British Government Publications. N.Y., H.W. Wilson Co., 1980. Z 2009 .R62 Main

Readers who would like good explanations of the publications of the various government departments in 1980 or prior should consult this source, especially as this M.S.U. guide to British documents does not cover this material to any extent. The British constitution and government, parliamentary materials, and executive agencies are thoroughly covered.

Rodgers, Frank and Phelps, Rose B. A Guide to British Parliamentary Papers. Urbana, University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library Science, Occasional Papers, 1967. J 301 .M317 Main

Olle, James G. An Introduction to British Government Publications. London, Association of Assistant Librarians, 1973. Z 2009 .A1 O4 1973 Main

The focus of this publication is on how to acquire British documents for the library. It is intended for British librarians.

Pemberton, John E. British Official Publications. Oxford, Pergamon Press, c1973. Z 2009 .P45 Main

This guide covers how the British government works, official publications, classification and indexing, Parliament's proceedings, Commons' and Lords' papers, command papers, papers of royal commissions, bills, Parliamentary debates, acts and measures, non-parliamentary publications, reference books, statistics sources, and some other kinds of documents. This is an excellent source.

Richard, Stephen. Directory of British Official Publications, a Guide to Sources. London, Mansell, 1984. Z 2009 .R553 1984 Main

This is for those who want to understand the documents and need to learn to acquire them for libraries. It is probably the best source of this type, although dated.

Roper, Michael.  Records of the Foreign Office, 1782-1968.  Richmond, Public Record Office, 2002.  CD 1051 .A6 2002 Main

A guide to Foreign Office materials from 1782-1968.


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