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British Parliamentary Papers

Guides and indexes

When searching House of Commons Parliamentary Papers: it is far easier to identify relevent papers by using an index or checking the references and bibliography in a book on your topic than it is to find material by keyword in this very large digital collection. If you have a Command Paper number (beginning with C., Cd., or Cmd.), you can search by that number.

Besides House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, there was another online index to the parliamentary papers: BOPCRIS (British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service). BOPCRIS covered publications from 1688-1995, and included some full text. It has been subsumed into House of Commons Parliamentary Papers.

Some researchers may be familiar with the CDROM Index of British Parliamentary Papers. Which covers 1801 to 1922 (Lords) and 1944/45 (Commons). It has been superseded by the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers digital collection.

Indexes were regularly published as part of the Parliamentary papers, and those indexes are included in the digital editions.

Some helpful guides and indexes:

  • Di Roma, Edward. A numerical finding list of British command papers published 1833-1961/62. [New York] New York Public Library, 1967.
  • Adam, Margaret Isabella. Guide to the principal parliamentary papers relating to the dominions, 1812-1911. Edinburgh, Oliver and Boyd, 1913. RECAP Z2021.C7A3
  • Cockton, Peter. Subject catalogue of the House of Commons Parliamentary papers, 1801-1900. Cambridge, England; Alexandria, VA: Chadwyck-Healey, 1988. RECAP J301 .M52 Note: Cockton is also in the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers digital edition.
  • A general index to the Sessional papers: printed by order of the House of Lords, or presented by special command. Dobbs Ferry, N. Y: Oceana Publications, Inc., 1976-
    Firestone Library: Non Circulating (Fnc): J301.J621q
  • A general index to the Sessional papers printed by order of the House of Lords or presented by special command. 1801-1859. London, H. M. Stationery off. [printed by P. Lund, Humphries & co., ltd.] 1938.
    RECAP Oversize J301.J6q
  • General index to the Accounts and papers, Reports of commissioners, Estimates, &c.,&c. Printed by order of the House of commons or presented by command. 1801-1852. London, H. M. Stationery off. [printed by P. Lund, Humphries & co., ltd.] 1938.
    RECAP Oversize J301.xM3 1938q 

Papers

For general advice on what is available online, see Parliamentary Papers -- UK Parliament.

House of Commons

  • House of Commons Papers (1688-2004) in House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
  • House of Commons sessional papers of the eighteenth century
    J301.xK63q
  • Parliamentary papers, 1804-1983
    RECAP Oversize 0844.009q
  • Reports from committees of the House of Commons, 1715-1802
    Very large books (XL). Firestone Oversize J301.K7 G773 1803f
  • Parliamentary papers [microform], 1731-1900, 1979-current
    MICROFICHE 838

House of Lords

  • House of Lords Papers (1714-1805) in House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
  • Sessional papers, 1714-1760, 1781-1805
    Oversize J301.J2 G773q
  • Sessional papers, 1804-1984/85
    J301.J2 regular and oversize [the papers for 1804-1966/67 are cataloged separately for each session, so exact call numbers vary]
    Sessional papers, 1731-1900 [together with Commons sessional papers]
    MICROFICHE 838
  • Parliamentary papers [microform], 1976/77-1981/82; 1984/85-current
    MICROFICHE 839

For current material, see Parliament's website at http://www.parliament.uk/publications/index.cfm.

Reprints

A selection of Parliamentary papers have been reprinted by the Irish University Press. There are two sets, the first comprising one thousand volumes and the second two hundred. They are arranged by topic, e.g. Fisheries, Colonies, Civil Disorder; or in the case of the area studies series, by region, e.g. China, West Indies, New Zealand. If there is a set on your topic, it may speed your research. Most are in Firestone, dispersed through the stacks, but some have been sent to RECAP. To find them all, do a keyword search in the Main Catalog for "irish university press" and parliament? There is an 8-volume index to the series at:

  • Irish University Press series of British parliamentary papers. [General] index. Shannon, Irish University Press [1968]. History Reference (SH): Oversize J301 .I67q
  • Catalogue of British parliamentary papers in the Irish University Press 1000-volume series and area studies series, 1801-1900. Dublin: Irish University Press, 1977. History Reference (SH): Oversize J301 .I69q

House of Commons sessional papers of the eighteenth century: introduction and list. Ed. Sheila Lambert. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1975-1976. History Reference (SH): Oversize J301.K631q
This accompanies a 145-volume set of reprints at Firestone Library (F) Oversize J301.xK63q, which is replicated in House of Commons Parliamentary Papers.