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Official Papers for the History of Medicine: Parliamentary papers

UK Parliamentary Papers: database

 U.K. Parliamentary Papers  

  • Gives access in full text to the bound set of House of Commons parliamentary papers from 1801-2003/04 
  •  18th century collections
  •  Hansard 1800-2009.

The database is very large so it is advisable to search in advanced search and limit you search by date/and or collection type. 

House of Lords papers are available in this database only where they were published as part of a joint committee.  (House of Lords papers are available from 1901 to the present day via Public Information Online)

For more information on the database and tips on searching please see the Proquest: Parliamentary Papers electronic guide

Please email if assistance is required

Quick search. Do you know the paper number?

On the introductory page of the U.K. Parliamentary Papers database, select 'search by number' on the top left. 

 Image shows how to search by paper number in the UK Parliamentary Papers database. Click on 'search by number' in the top line menu. Go to the type of paper being searched for. Example shows Bill, Select parliamentary session in first drop down menu on left. If needed select volume in middle drop down menu. Add paper number in third box on right and press return for results

Search by paper number for bills, command papers and house of commons papers. It is advisable to put in a date range or parliamentary session to reduce the number of returns. 

Highlighted search terms

Once you have returned a document you are able to search for keywords within it. Your search term appears highlighted in yellow throughout the document. Results appear below the search box. So for example, image 3, which is the third image of the document (not page number) shows that the keyword searched for appeared five times. 

Image shows how to search for a term in a paper. Add your term to the box on the top left. Press return. Your search term will be highlighted in yellow in the paper. A list below the search box will give you links to the term throughout the paper searched 


Example of an illustration in a parliamentary paper

Many papers have maps and illustrations. Some illustrations and maps are not reproduced very clearly (unlike the illustration above). For the majority of documents, the pages and images were scanned from microfiche occasionally resulting in poor copy, this can also make figures difficult to read. If you would like to see the original please do contact staff, Copies can also be made from the originals by arrangement.


The Official Papers section is situated on the ground floor of the Bodleian Law Library.  All print material is open access. Please ask staff for assistance. 

  • Full set of Journals of the House of Commons, 1547- and Journals of the House of Lords, 1510-
  • 'First Series'  A set of select committee reports were reprinted in 15 large folio volumes known as the ‘First Series’ covering 1715 -1801. 
  • House of Lords and Commons sessional/parliamentary papers from 1801 to present day
  • House of Commons sessional papers of the 18th century. A modern facsimilie reprint of all known separately published papers of the House of Commons in 145 volumes. Edited by Shelia Lambert and is also know as the ‘Lambert Reprint’ The index not only gives references for publications in the Abbott Collection and First Series but also those papers that were published in the House of Commons and Lords Journals.  
  • Hansard: Cobbett's Parliamentary History onwards  
  • Standing Committee debates