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British Parliamentary Papers and Other British Government Documents


Reporting of early parliamentary debates was punished by fines and imprisonment, and the clerks who took notes of them, in compiling the Journals, were ordered to discontinue the practice. The earliest continuous reports of contemporary debates are Anchitell Grey's Debates of the House of Commons, from the year 1667 to the year 1694. The volumes comprising this set can be searched and read in The Making of the Modern World in GALILEO. (A microcard copy of this set is also in MAGIL, microfiche cabinets MFC J301 .H8 1763.) Debates from 1803 to present are often referred to as "Hansard" after the name of the firm which compiled and published them for the greater part of the 19th century. They are now published by The Stationery Office (formerly Her Majesty's Stationery Office or HMSO) and come to the library in bound volumes two or three years after each session. Until 1909 publication of the Debates was unofficial and they were not verbatim records but often based on newspaper accounts

U.K. Parliamentary Papers (ProQuest) 

  Parliamentary Register 1774-1805
  Hansard 1803-2005

‚ÄčParliamentary or Constitutional History of England. London, 1751-1762. 24 volumes.
SCL, Hargrett 18th Century collection (JN117 .H178).

Often cited as the Old Parliamentary History, these volumes, covering 1066 to 1660, contain material about the contents of debates compiled from the Journals and other sources. Volume 24 is a general index to the other 23 volumes.

The Parliamentary History of England from the Earliest Period to the Year 1803. London, 36 volumes.
MAGIL, closed stacks (Gt. Brit. 10-6/7 [Ser. 0]). A second copy is on the 6th floor (JN505 .C654).

Known as Cobbett's, the first 12 volumes were compiled by William Cobbett. T.C. Hansard completed the set. The set covers the period 1066 to 1803 and was compiled from official (Journal of the House of Commons) and unofficial (diaries, etc.) records. While extensive, Cobbett is not always definitive and may lack significant source material. Researchers may wish to check a number of the sources listed in his Preface. The arrangement is chronological. There is a fairly detailed table of contents which is helpful but the set is not indexed.


Great Britain. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), 1803-1908.
MAGIL, closed stacks (Gt. Brit. 10-6/7 [Ser.1 through Ser.4]).

1803-1820 (first series)
1820-1830 (second series)
1830-1891 (third series)
1891-1908 (fourth series)
Note: The series above contain the debates of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons.


Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons. Parliamentary Debates, 1909-present.
MAGIL, open & closed stacks (Gt. Brit. 10-6).

1909-1980 (fifth series) MAGIL, closed stacks
1980-present (sixth series) MAGIL, open stacks


Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. Parliamentary Debates, 1909-present.
MAGIL, open stacks (Gt. Brit. 10-7).


Great Britain. Parliament. Hansard - House of Commons and House of Lords Debates, 1803- 

   Historic Hansard 1803-2005 is under Commons (or Lords) Hansard Archives.


Indexes and Bibliographies:

General Index to the First and Second Series of Hansard's Parliamentary Debates...1803 to 1830.
MAGIL, index area (J301 .H25 G4 1970z).

Volume / Sessional indexes

Each volume of the first and second series (1803 - 1829/30) includes its own index. From 1830/31 - present each session is indexed. This index is sometimes bound at the end of the last volume of the session or sometimes bound separately. Indexing is by speaker and by subject. Hansard's is numbered by columns, not by pages. Also, pages for the oral debate and the pages for answers to written questions are numbered separately; the index placing a "w" after written answers.


United Kingdom Hansard

Provides indexes to bound volumes of debates (Commons from November 1999; Lords from December 2000).  Content including the Hansard Archives 1803- is also keyword searchable.


A Bibliography of Parliamentary Debates of Great Britain.
MAGIL, index area (Z2009 .G7).

A detailed guide to the sources that have recorded Parliamentary Debates from 1066 to 1955.