House of Commons Parliamentary Papers Trial

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Trial access to the “House of Commons Parliamentary Papers” (HCPP), provided by ProQuest, is available in its entirety from February 6 to March 31, 2012.

HCPP provides access to over 200,000 House of Commons sessional papers from 1715 to the present, with supplementary material back to 1688. Access is available to the following collections:

  • 18th century (1688-1834)
  • 19th century (1801-1900)
  • 20th century (1901-2003/04 session)
  • 21st century module 1 (2004/05 – 2009/10 sessions)
  • 21st century module 2 (2010/12 session)
  • Hansard (1803-2005)

As the working documents of government, the parliamentary papers encompass all areas of social, political, economic and foreign policy, showing how issues were explored and legislation was formed. Many contributors to the papers were found outside the official world, providing evidence or supplying memoranda to committees and commissions. The labours and concerns of Matthew Arnold, John Stuart Mill, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, Edwin Chadwick, Marconi, Keynes and Beveridge are recorded in these pages, alongside thousands of others. The evidence gathered by numerous Committees and Royal Commissions influenced public opinion and social and political philosophies as disparate as those of Marx, Dickens and Disraeli.

The origins of HCPP online lie in the Chadwyck-Healey microfiche edition of the nineteenth century House of Commons Sessional Papers. Published between 1980 and 1983, the microfiche edition includes filmed images of 77,671 papers, covering nearly 4.2 million pages along with an accompanying 5 volume index. Microfiche for the twentieth century (107,965 papers, over 5.2 million pages) was subsequently produced. Scanning continues, taking coverage right up to the latest parliamentary session. These scans have also been converted into digital format, and are presented in HCPP alongside index records. These indexes have been overlaid with broad subject categories based on the 19th centurySubject Catalogue, updated for more recent material.

HCPP now incorporates The Eighteenth Century Parliamentary Papers Collection from BOPCRIS. This collection features publications published officially by the House of Commons or the House of Lords from 1688 to 1834, including sessional papers and other material such as Journals and Private Acts. In addition, HCPP also now includes the full text from Hansard, the Official Report of debates in Parliament, from both the House of Commons and House of Lords, from 1803 to 2005.