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Parliamentary Papers, Proceedings and Departmental Papers : UK: Using the U.K. Parliamentary Papers database

U.K Parliamentary Papers (Proquest) database

!The Proquest 'House of Commons Parliamentary Papers' has moved to a new platform and has a new name
'U.K. Parliamentary Papers'! Search by title on SOLO or OxLIP+ 
This is a subscription based database a single sign-on (SSO) is required for remote access.

U.K. Parliamentary Papers database

 The U.K. Parliamentary Papers database gives you access in full text to the bound set of House of Commons parliamentary papers from 1801-2003/04, the 18th century collections and 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. 

The Bodleian does not subscribe to the House of Lords papers. However House of Lords papers are available where they were published as part of a joint Committee. The Official Papers section in the Bodleian Law Library has a full set of House of Lords and Commons papers on open shelf.

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. 


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. 



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.

Guide to citations

Bills and papers all start at 1 at the begining of each parliamentary session.

HC = House of Commons paper   

HL = House of Lords papers

Bill = House of Commons Bill

HL Bill = House of Lords Bill

Command papers are differentiated by a letter prefix.

[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

When citing a parliamentary reference it is important to include the Sessional year, volume if applicable, type of paper and paper number. If it is a Command paper then make sure the correct letter prefix is cited.

For example :

'List of British Ships reported to Board of Trade as Foundered or Missing, 1873-May 1880'  1880, Vol. LXVI,  C.2625.
'Title', session, volume no, Command paper number

How the citation is arranged depends on the reference system chosen.


On earlier volumes you will notice two sets of numbering. A hand written number and a printed arabic number. The hand written number refers to the pagination of the volume as a whole. As several documents are bound together in each volume the arabic number refers to the paper number of the individual document.