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British Parliamentary Papers

British parliamentary sessional papers, debates, and other British documents.

Introduction to British Parliament and Parliamentary Papers

The following books from the UCLA Research Library and the links to the UK Parliament Website will provide the novice researcher with further reading about the British Parliamentary Papers.

Searching the House of Commons Sessional Papers

The Charles E. Young Research Library has indexes to the Sessional Papers in the A-Level Reference Reading Room from call numbers J301.H65 through J301.M3. Indexes are also located at the end of each parliamentary session.

All Command Papers are included in the Sessional Papers. The series numbers correspond to the following years.

Abbreviations Numbers Years
 [none] 1–4222 1833–1869
C 1–9550 1870–1899
CD 1–9239 1900–1918
CMD 1–9889 1919–1956
CMND 1–9927 1956–1986
CM 1–present 1987–present

Searching the Parliamentary Debates

Finding Aids for The Parliamentary Debates until 1803 resources

For the print copy Parliamentary or Constitutional History of England from the Earliest Times to the Restoration of Charles II, volume 1 is a general index to the 24 volume set. The same online title available via The Eighteenth Century Online database will also allow you to search the volumes by a keyword search, but the general index is an easier place to start your search.

Cobbett's Parliamentary History of England contains a Table of Contents at the beginning of each volume, as well as an index to the speakers at the beginning of each volume. The Making of the Modern World database will also search the text by keyword.

Finding Aids for The Parliamentary Debates, 1803 to 1909 (series 1 - 4) resources

There is an index at the back of each volume of the debates from this period.

Hansard debates were published in series. Therefore, you will see the items listed in the catalog according to series number, volume number, and year. For example, ser.1, vol.002, 1804 stands for Series 1, Volume 2, Year 1804. Beginning with Series 5, the Parliamentary Debates of the House of Commons and House of Lords are published separately.

Series 1: 1803–1820
Series 2: 1820–1830
Series 3: 1830–1891
Series 4: 1892–1908
Series 5: 1909–1949
Series 6: 1950–

Finding Aids for The Parliamentary Debates, 1909 to Present (series 5–6)

There are indexes located at the back of each volume. The final volume for a Parliamentary session is also an index for the entire session. For example, in the General Index to Session 1914 - 1915 for the House of Commons Parliamentary Debates, there is the entry "Canada: British North America Act Amendment - Papers Present [71], 1619." The number in brackets refers to the volume number and the second number refers to the column number.

Searching the Journals, Votes, and Proceedings

Each volume of the Debates has an index located at the end. Indexes are also published cumulatively every ten years since 1880. The House of Commons Journals are located in the Charles E. Young Research Library stacks, call number J301.K3. The House of Lords Journals are located under call number J301.J3.