The House of Commons Parlimentary Papers (HCPP) database includes a wealth of full text primary resources on the UK and its relations with colonies and other foreign countries from the early 18th Century to 21st century.
Both Houses of Parliament, the Commons and the Lords, produce parliamentary papers which include sessional papers, command papers, bills, reports and accounts from the 18th to the 21st century. For the period 1805 to 2005, HCPP also includes the full-text searchable Hansard, the verbatim record of parliamentary debates.
While in itself HCPP provides sources on the history of governance and admininstration of the UK and its colonies, it is also a key source for historians working on political, social, economic, legal & constitutional, military, diplomatic, cultural and religious history of the UK. It is also very useful for finding statistical reports and annual account, whether they relate to transport, supporting the arts, or trade.
The different collections listed below within the database can be cross-searched and browsed.
18th Century Parlimentary Papers
HCPP provides digitised full text version of the Commons and Lords Session Papers and Commons Reports and Accounts from 1715-1800 and details of private, local and personal bills. These can be browsed or searched by subject.
19th Century Parlimentary Papers
A subject catalogue has been constructed for the 19th century papers which allows browsing by social, political and economic topics. Examples of topics include slavery, education, poverty, Ireland and India, which can each be narrowed down into more detail.
The Official Report of debates Parliament, known as Hansard, is an edited record of parliamentary debates and questions, including written ministerial statements and answers to parliamentary questions as well as the transcripts of debates. The Parliamentary Register, a precursor of Hansard which recorded debates from 1776-1805, is included in the Eighteenth Century Parliamentary Papers Collection.
It contains a wealth of information and detail of individual speakers. Newspapers frequently reported on proceedings of Parliament and are a useful complementary source (cf Historical Newspapers blog post 2/4/13).
Other similar databases and resources
- Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) which includes reprints of Statutes of the Realm
- Cobbett’s Parliamentary History
- History of Parliament (CD-ROM)
- Making of Modern Law: Legal treaties 1800-1926, The
- HeinOnline (includes Selden Society publications and Statutes of the Realm)
- Documents on British Policy Overseas
- Cabinet Papers 1915-1978, The
- Confidential Print: Africa, 1834-1966
- Confidential Print: Middle East, 1839-1969
- Confidential Print: North America 1824-1961
- Macmillan Cabinet Papers 1957-63
- Parliament UK