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Government Information: Foreign and International

United Kingdom Parliamentary Documents

This guide lists both 'physical' (print, microfiche, microfilm, and microcard) and online sources related to United Kingdom Parliamentary Documents.

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Parliamentary Documents

Debates / Hansard

Parliamentary Debates of the House of Commons, also known as Hansard. The Mirror of Parliament reported proceedings in Parliament for 1828 - 1840 and is fuller than Hansard for the period 1828 - 1833.

Year: Description: Format: Location
(Documents Compact Shelving):
1802 - current Parliamentary Debates Online Hansard (
1988 - 2016 Parliamentary Debates Online House of Commons Hansard archives (
1985/86 - current Parliamentary Debates Microfiche UK1 X1 D27
1980/81 - 1984/85 Parliamentary Debates Paper UK1 X1 D27
1909 - 1979/80 Parliamentary Debates Paper UK1 X1 D26
1892 - 1908 Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) Paper UK1 X1 D25C
1830 - 1891 Hansard's Parliamentary Debates Paper UK1 X1 D25B
1820 - 1830 Parliamentary Debates Paper UK1 X1 D25A
1803/04 - 1819/20 Cobbett's Parliamentary Debates Paper UK1 X1 D25
1066 - 1803 Hansard's Parliamentary History of England Paper UK1 X1 D24
1828 - 1840 Mirror of Parliament - Barrow Paper UK1 X1 B15


A detailed "diary" of House proceedings - written description of each day's events, including all votes, summaries of discussion, written answers and papers tabled before the House (Parliamentary Papers) - Indexed.

Year: Description: Format: Location:
House of Commons:
1547 - current House of Commons Paper UK1 X2 J57 (Folio)
House of Lords:
1509 - 1837 (some gaps)
1922 - 1985/86
Journals of the House of Lords Paper UK1 Y2 J57 (Folio, Compact)

Parliamentary Papers / Sessional Papers

The British Parliamentary papers, also known as Sessional papers, provide Parliament with information for its consideration or arise out of Parliament's deliberations. They are comparable to Canadian Legislative and Parliamentary documents and U.S. Congressional reports and documents. The Papers include: bills, reports, minutes, and evidence taken by committees, and estimates and appropriations. Papers are produced for each session of Parliament for the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Year: Description: Format: Location:
1922 - current Great Britain Government Publications Catalogue Paper UK1 QP G56 (Reference)
1900 - 1949 General Index to Parliamentary Papers Paper UK1 XS P14 (Reference)
1801 - 1900 Subject Catalogue of House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (Cockton) Paper UK1 XS 88S71 (Reference)
1689 - 1899 Irish University Press (IUP) Index Paper UK1 YS35 (Reference)
1688 - current House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (Subscription version) Online ProQuest U.K. Parlimentary Papers
1731 - current Parliamentary Papers Microfiche, Microcard, Paper UK1 XS P16 (Compact)
1954/55 - current Parliamentary Papers of the House of Lords (Sessional Papers) Paper, Microfiche UK1 YS P16 (Compact)
1547 - 1625 State Papers - Domestic (Queen's holdings) Microfilm UK1 PR75 S71 (Compact)

Parliamentary Paper Reprints

Queen's has two main reprint series: Scholarly Resources (18th Century) and the Irish University Press (IUP) set (19th Century). Users are advised to consult these sources where possible, before undertaking research using Readex Microcards.

Year: Description: Format: Location:
Scholarly Resources:
1715 - 1782 House of Commons Sessional Papers of the 18th Century 145 vols UK1 YS P21 (Compact)
  Index volumes 2 vols UK1 YS P20 (Reference)
Irish University Press:
1800 - 1900 Colonies - Canada 33 vols UK1 YS4 (Compact)
  Colonies - Canadian Boundary 8 vols UK1 YS4 (Compact)
  Crime & Punishment - Police/Prisons 16 vols UK1 YS5 (Compact)
  Crime & Punishment - Civil Disorder 16 vols UK1 YS5 (Compact)
  Emigration & Punishment 28 vols UK1 YS7 (Compact)
  Famine - Ireland 8 vols UK1 YS8 (Compact)
  Population (1801 - 1891 Censuses) 25 vols UK1 YS24 (Compact)
  Posts & Telegraphs 8 vols UK1 YS25 (Compact)
1846 - 1886 Papers Relating to Her Majesty's Colonial Possessions Paper UK1 YS100 P16 (Compact)
1856 - 1896, 1905 Statistical Tables Relating to the Colonial & Other Possessions of the United Kingdom Paper UK1 YS100 S71 (Compact)

State Papers - Domestic -- Microfilm -- UK1 PR75 S71 (Compact)

Year: Part: Description:
Series One:
1547 - 53 I Edward VI
1553 - 1558 I Mary I
1558 - 1568 II Elizabeth I
1569 - 1575 III Elizabeth I
1576 - 1585 IV Elizabeth I
1586 - 1592 V Elizabeth I
1593 - 1603 VI Elizabeth I
1603 - 1608 VII James I
1608 - 1617 VIII James I
1618 - 1623 IX James I
1624 - 1625 X James I
1547 - 1625 XI Edward VI - James I: Addenda
Series Two:
1625 - 1702 Jan 1638 - Dec 1642 Various

Legislative Documents


Year: Description: Format: Location
(Documents Compact Shelving):
1386 - 1542 Proceedings & Ordinances of the Privy Council of England - vols. 6 & 7 only Paper UK1 YX21 P66
1613 - 1783 Acts of the Privy Council - Colonial Series - 6 vols. Paper UK1 YX21 P67
1225 - 1713 Statutes of the Realm - vols. 1 - 11 Microcard, Microfiche UK1 YX21 S70
1213 - 1830 Statutes at Large Paper UK1 YX21 S71
1830 - current Public General Acts & Measures Paper UK1 YX21 S73
1988 - Acts Online
1987 - Statutory Instruments Online
1547 - 1631 Acts of the Privy Council Paper UK1 YX22 A16
1235 - 1982 Chronological Table of the Statutes Paper UK1 YX41 R29
1235 - 1980 Index to the Statutes in Force Paper UK1 YX41 R30
to 1948 Statutory Rules & Orders & Statutory Instruments Revised to Dec. 31 1948 Paper UK1 YX51 48S76

Other Documents

Times of London:

Provided newspaper coverage of parliamentary activity. Indexed by Palmers Index to the Times.

Royal Commissions:

Substantial reports on many topics, including: Poor Laws, Public Schools, Coal Mining, Motor Cars, and many others (see list of Royal Commissions).

Cabinet Reports:

These are confidential letters from the Prime Ministers to Queen Victoria, and then King Edward. They constitute the only continuous contemporary record of cabinet business and the only official record of cabinet meetings. Originals are stored in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle.

Year: Description: Format: Location:
1785 - current Times of London - Newspaper coverage of Parliamentary activity. Microfilm AN4 .L6 T56 (Microfilm)
1790 - 1905 Palmer's Index to the Times Microfiche Microfiche 274
1832 - Royal Commissions - selected topics Paper UK1 Z1... (Compact)
1837 - 1867 Cabinet Reports - Prime Ministers to the Crown
Inventory at the beginning of the reel
Microfilm UK1 RAW C16 (Microfilm)
1868 - 1916 Cabinet Reports - Prime Ministers to the Crown Microfilm UK1 RAW C17 (Microfilm)
1868 - 1916 Indexed in List & Index Society's Cabinet Letters at Windsor 1868 - 1916 Paper, Microfilm UK6 LI1 V05 (Compact)

Internet Resources

There are a wide range of internet sites providing access to UK documents. Suggested sites are provided below:

Help / Hints

Finding a Parliamentary Paper

Look up an entry of interest using one of the indexes to the Parliamentary Papers.

Sample Entry: 1870 (448) LV.93 mf 76.523

1870 (448) LV 93 mf 76.523
Session Paper # * Volume # Volume page Microfiche filing no. - not applicable at Queen's

*Bills and House of Commons Papers in parentheses -- Command Papers in square brackets.

Then, using this reference:

  • Go to the Compact Stacks in Documents, to Call No. UK1 XS P16 which is the Readex Microcard set.
  • Find the microcard box with the year 1870 and containing volume LV.
  • Find the card with the volume page 93 (volumes and pages are on the top right corner of each microcard).
  • Go to the microcard reader in the Documents Microform area (to the East of the Documents Reference Desk).
  • Put the microcard between the glass plates on the top of the reader and turn the reader on.
  • Move the image using the handle on the front of the glass plates.
  • Focus the image using the knob on the right side of the reader.

Hints on using the indexes

  • There are several overlapping indexes available for UK publications - try several.
  • Take down ALL the information in the index (particularly identifying numbers/letters) - these will be essential when looking up the actual document (in paper, microcard, or fiche).
  • Try different headings.
  • For example, the subject "Great Reform Bill of 1832" is found using a "see reference" under "Reform", pointing to "Parliament and Parliamentary Representation".
  • Another example: To find information on the rebellion in India in 1857 - 58, you look up "India", get referred to "East Indies", and finally to "Army (East Indies)", under which you will find "Mutinies in the East Indies" as a subheading.
  • There are indexes in the back of many of the documents you will be using - you may find they provide additional points of access.
  • For Palmers Index, the term "leaders" refers to "editorials".

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