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British Parliamentary Papers: Sessional Papers

British Parliamentary Papers and reference sources relative to parliamentary research available at the University of Georgia.

Sessional Papers

Sessional papers include the following document types:
1. Public bills, arranged by title. (Private bills relating to local or personal legislation, e.g., divorce, are not part of the Sessional Papers.)
2. Reports of committees of Parliament, arranged alphabetically by subject or name of committee.
3. Reports of Royal Commissions and other groups doing research of interest to Parliament.
4. Accounts and papers (all publications not in the first three categories. Included are treaties, international agreements, financial and statistical reports, papers on defense, etc.).

Command Papers are an additional category of Parliamentary document which aren't considered part of the sessional papers proper.

Sessional Papers online, print & microform

U.K. Parliamentary Papers (ProQuest)

  • Bills and Acts 1695-present
  • House of Commons Papers 1715-present (reports of Parliamentary Committees, Royal Commission reports until early 20th century, Accounts & Papers) 
  • House of Lords Papers 1714-1805
  • Command Papers 1833-present

Irish University Press (IUP) Series of British Parliamentary Papers (1800-1900).
Map and Government Information Library (J301 .R2).
Approximately 1,000 volumes containing a large selection of the most important papers from the nineteenth century. Arrangement is by topic rather than by year. Includes a few papers which are not in the Readex microprint set of British Sessional Papers.

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. British Sessional Papers (1731-1978/79). Readex Corporation.
Map and Government Information Library, microprint area (MCP J301 .K61).
The most complete set of papers, corresponding to the original printed set. As the Libraries owns only a few of the original printed volumes, this microprint set is useful if the document cannot be found in the Irish University Press Series. A microprint reader is available on the floor where these documents are housed. There is currently no device for printing from microprint cards so users should be prepared to take notes!


Irish University Press. Checklist of British parliamentary papers in the Irish University Press 1000-volume series, 1801-1899.
Map and Government Information Library, index area (J301 .R212).
This is usually the best index to use with the 1,000 volume IUP set. In some cases it may be necessary to use the Subject Catalogue to first identify a paper on your topic and then trace the paper's location in the IUP using the Checklist.

Cockton, Peter. Subject Catalogue of the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers 1801-1900. Chadwyck-Healey.
Map and Government Information Library, index area (DA530 .C620 1988).
This five volume set gives comprehensive listings by subject of the entire output of nineteenth century Parliamentary papers. The set covers bills, statistical series, and annual reports as well as policy documents. The session dates and volume numbers used in the index may be used to locate the paper in the Readex microprint set of British Sessional Papers.

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Sessional Indexes, 1801-1978/79.
In: British Sessional Papers. Readex Corporation, Map and Government Information Library, microprint area (MCP J301 .K61).
For the period 1801-1900 look in the microprint boxes labeled "Collection of Indexes General Annual 1801-1862" and "Collection of Indexes General Annual 1863-1900". A few years in the 19th century not collected in the two General Annual boxes are in the box labeled "Collection of Indexes 1696-1900".
For the period 1901-1978/79 the index is generally the last volume of each session's set of volumes. Some years the sessional index will be in the last volume of the section labelled Accounts and Papers. A decennial index covering 1950-1959 is in volume XXXIX of the session for 1962/63.



For a more extensive guide see UGA Libraries' holdings of British Parliamentary Papers and Other British Goverment Documents.

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