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Finding Parliamentary & government publications: Parliamentary Papers

A general guide to finding UK Parliamentary papers, debates and other official publications

Parliamentary papers were first printed in the 17th century but were not generally on sale until 1836. Prior to this time only a small proportion was printed as individual documents. However many others can be found included in the Journals of each House.

House of Commons papers
These include documents arising from deliberations of the House or required for its work. It includes the Command Paper series of documents, presented to Parliament by a Minister on matters likely to be the subject of early legislation or otherwise essential to MPs in carrying out their responsibilities.

House of Lords papers
Important social and political documents were included in the 19th century papers. Many were and are communicated to the Commons and can be found in the set of House of Commons papers.

Online databases


Many UK Parliamentary papers, including Committee Reports back to 1997-98, are made freely available on the internet. Papers are also provided online for the devolved assemblies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Use the following websites to search for and find relevant resources.

Finding printed papers

Commons papers

Papers from 1950-1974/75 (incomplete set) and 1975/76-2007/08 are kept in closed access and are available on request through the Enterprise catalogue entry for the papers as a series.

Lords papers

Papers from 1950, 1951/52 and 1964/65-2007/08 are also kept in closed access, again available on request.

Further resources 

Cumulative subject indexes covering 10, 50, or 100 years are located at JOURNALS-- PER 328.424.

You will find details of any Library print copies of individual Parliamentary papers held separately to these two Parliamentary series on the Enterprise catalogue.

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