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Official Papers for the History of Medicine: Parliamentary Papers

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers database

!The Proquest House of Commons Parliamentary Papers database is currently in the process of moving to a new platform.!

Whilst the migration is going ahead not all documents are available in full text at the new platform. Both platforms will run concurrently until all documents are available in the new platform. 

Parliamentary papers



  • Parliamentary Papers 1801-

This really is an incredible set of primary source material. Within this vast set of over 25,000 volumes there is an absolute wealth of information with regard to health, housing, population, social administration, social welfare and medicine. You will also find maps, illustrations and photographs within the documents. Large series of commissioners reports, annual departmental reports and statistics also run through the collection.

The Official Papers has a full set of both Lords and Commons Parliamentary papers, 1801 to the present day on open shelf situated on the ground floor of the Bodleian Law Library

The House of Commons papers are available in full text at the UK Parliamentary Papers (Proquest database) from 1801-2003/2004.

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Types of Parliamentary Papers

cUntil 1801 Parliamentary Papers were not formally presented. The bound set consists of two distinct sets of papers. The papers of the House of Commons and the papers of the House of Lords. They are arranged by parliamentary sessional year. The state opening of Parliament, usually in October marks a new set of Parliamentary papers. A general election also starts a new parliamentary session.

Bills At the state opening of Parliament the Government lists the legislation that it hopes to pass in the Queen's/King's speech. A Bill is the form legislation takes before it becomes and Act. A bill has to pass through a set procudure where it is debated in both chambers of the House where amendments are made. The various stages are published as House of Lords Bills (HL Bill) or House of Commons Bills (Bill)   Bills start from 1 at the begining of each new Parliamentary session. 

House of Commons/Lord Papers  These are papers which result from the work of the House and its Committees or are otherwise necessary for its
work. To include select committee papers, minutes of proceedings of public bill committees, estimates and appropriation accounts. The papers start from 1 at the begining of each new Parliamentary session.

Command Papers are Parliamentary Papers presented to the United Kingdom Parliament nominally by command of the Sovereign, but in practice by a government minister. The numbering is continuous over sessional sessions, they are differentiated by a letter prefix and are bound with the House of Commons papers. The House of Lords does not generate command papers.

[1] to [4222] 1833-1868/69

C.1 to C.9550 1870-1899

Cd.1 to Cd.9239 1900-1918

Cmd.1 to Cmd.9889 1919-1955/56

Cmnd.1 to Cmnd.9927 1956/57-1985/86

Cm.1 1986/87 to date

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