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Finding British Parliamentary Papers in the M.S.U. Libraries, 2007 edition: Parliamentary, or Sessional, Papers--Full Texts

This is a guide to doing research with British government documents, particularly Parliamentary documents, emphasizing electronic access and information. Last updated 06-05-2023

Parliamentary, or Sessional, Papers--Full Texts

Citations in scholarly literature, in bibliographies, and in some indexing sources to Parliamentary, or Sessional, papers have these elements: Document title, session year, paper number (if given), volume number (a roman numeral) within the session year, and volume page number. For example: Estimate for Completing Exhibition Building 1863 (382) XXIX 381.

For 18th century onwards, the following print, micro, and Internet sources provide full-texts. Want pre 18th c. documents? See Finding British Parliamentary Papers in the M.S.U. Libraries, 2000 edition.

House of Commons Sessional Papers of the Eighteenth Century. v. 1-147. J 301 f. K6 1975 Remote Storage

Includes bills (public and private), reports, accounts, and papers from 1715-1800. Arranged chronologically. Last two volumes have “List” on the call number. These are the index volumes. They list Sessional papers by date, alphabetically by title, and by subject.

British and Foreign State Papers, v. 1-170, 1812-/14-1947 JX 103. A3 Main 3rd floor east.

Contains 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.

Great Britain. Parliament. [Papers by Command House of Commons]. 1956/57-1985 ] J 301 .H5 Remote Storage

British Sessional Papers. House of Commons. Microprint #10 covers 1731-1978/79. Hollander MakeCentral 2nd floor west.

Microprint is 5"x8" opaque cards, an older reproduction technology.  You will find it easier to use the online version instead!!!!  The boxes are stored outside the Copy Center area on 2nd floor west, near the windows.  The boxes are arranged by Parliamentary Session year.  The Copy Center has new readers utilizing computer technology for reading these cards.  Staff at the Copy Center desk will show you how to use it.  Unfortunately, the machinery is designed for use with microfiche cards, which are smaller, 4"x6".  However, it is possible to read the whole 5"x8" cards, in this way.  To read the second half of the microcard, take it out of the tray, turn it around and reinsert it into the tray with the end of the card first.  Then, on the computer screen, at the top, click twice to rotate the image, to make it right side up.

British Sessional Papers. House of Commons. Microfiche J 301 .K5 and .K6 covers 1978/79-1992. Hollander MakeCentral 2nd floor west.

United Kingdom Parliament, current and some historical

A database of Parliamentary full-text material, searchable in its entirety or by type of publication. Separate pages for Commons and Lords. In the Commons’ pages, contains the debates (Hansard), 1988-, public bills before Parliament, a complete list of all public bills introduced in the current session, select committee reports, Weekly Information Bulletin from 1996/97, and Sessional Digest from 1995/96. Lords’ page leads to their debates from 1996, some select committee reports, and their judgments since 1996. Has links to significant historical documents.

Parliamentary Archives of the United Kingdom 

Parliamentary Archives of the United Kingdom holds several million historical records relating to Parliament. This Archive web sites offers access to Portcullis, an online catalog describing 3 million items. These include records of the houses of Lords and Commons: acts of Parliament, committee papers, Hansard, journals, judicial records, peerage claim records, etc. A fire in 1834 burned down the Houses of Parliament; consequently, this archive has no House of Commons records prior to this date, except for manuscript journals and minutes and printed journals of this House. They also do not have records of government departments; these are at the National Archives/Public Records Office. M.S.U. Libraries offers the Hansard Debates in Main stacks at J 301 .H..., Commons and Lords command papers, Main J 301 .H..., and House of Commons Sessional Papers, microprint #10, Hollander MakeCentral 2nd floor west.

Stay up to date with newly enacted legislation for the U.K., Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland as it is published.  Or browse new legislation by publication date.  Also has a section on legislation originating from the EU.

TSO Official Documents, current

Official Documents is the official reference facility for Command and departmentally sponsored House of Commons Papers. From May 2005 onwards, all Command Papers and House of Commons Papers, as well as Key Departmental Papers, are available for free on the site in PDF format. All documents can be viewed online and printed out. You can also search for documents to quickly find what you are looking for.