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UK Parliamentary Papers: How to find and use the UK Parliamentary Papers database service: Home

How to access the UK Parliamentary Papers database service and use it to find: Sessional Papers (Bills, HC Papers, Command Papers) and more.

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UK Parliamentary Papers

Log into UK Parliamentary Papers

Searching UK Parliamentary Papers

Searching UK Parliamentary Papers

By keywords (basic search)

You can enter terms in the search box.

Alternatively, select terms in by following the ‘Find Terms’ link. In the pop-up box search or browse for terms, select these using the ‘tick boxes’ and then click the ‘Paste to Search’ button.

You can limit the search by date. Select the ‘Limit by Date link and then choose options from the drop-down menu and enter the relevant year(s).

Once you have entered your search terms, select the search button.

By Paper Number

Follow the link to ‘Search by Number’.  The Search by Number screen offers search options for ‘Bill Number’, ‘Command Papers’ and ‘House of Commons Papers’. Enter the number in the Paper or Bill Number search field and select a Parliamentary Session or Date Range if required.

Select the search button.

N.B. Numbered sequences of HC Papers and Bills start anew each parliamentary session, so it is useful to limit the search by session or date. Command Papers use different abbreviations for ‘command’ depending on the series (e.g. there are papers 1919 [Cmd 100], 1956-57 Cmnd 100, 1986/87 Cm 100, etc.).

Advanced Search

On the home page follow the link to ‘Advanced Search’.

In the Advanced Search you can select the field in which a terms should occur (e.g. Author/Chair, Title, Subject). You can also enter terms in more than one search box and so search for different terms in different fields.

You can limit your search to either the House of Commons or House of Lords. You can also limit by date or parliamentary session, ‘collection’, paper type, paper series and document features (e.g. illustrations, maps, tables).

Select the search button.

Members, Offices, and Constituencies

You can use this search to find information on Members of Parliament, including biographical information, parliamentary offices, constituencies and Hansard contributions.

From the home page follow the link ‘Members, Offices & Constituencies’ (or ‘Search Members’).

Enter terms in the ‘Member’ (e.g. Winston Churchill), ‘Keyword’ (e.g. “prime minister”) or ‘Constituency’ (e.g. Dundee) search boxes and limit by ‘Office’, ‘Party Affiliation’ or ‘Nation’. Select the ‘Search’ button.

A list of results displays records for members. To view the profile select ‘Hansard Member Profile’ or ‘Citation/Abstract’.

Terms and connectors

HCPP offers a range of connectors and other syntax symbols which can be used in searches. These include:

  • AND – finds records that contain all terms, e.g. banks AND regulation.
  • OR – finds records that contain either term, use this to list alternatives, e.g. lawyer OR solicitor.
  • NOT  – excludes a term from the search, e.g. environment NOT climate.
  • NEAR – finds terms occurring within a given number of words of each other e.g. internet NEAR/10 security will find these terms occurring within 10 words of each other.
  • * (truncation symbol) – use the asterisk to truncate a term, e.g. advert* finds advert, adverts, advertisement etc.
  • ? (wildcard symbol) – use the question mark to replace a single letter (either within the word or at the end of a word), e.g. mari?uana finds marijuana and marihuana, watche? finds watches, watched, watcher.

Search results

You can sort results by selecting criteria from the drop-down menu (e.g. ‘Sort By Relevance’ or ‘Sort By Date (most recent first)’); and filter results by date/parliamentary session, paper series, chamber, document features, etc. You can modify your search by selecting the link ‘Modify search’.

You can select a number of records and then email or print these using the relevant button .

(N.B. Only results records are emailed or printed – not full-text documents.)

Viewing, downloading and saving a full-text document - UK Parliamentary Papers

In the results list record select ‘Full text –PDF’ and then ‘Replica of Original – Complete’ to view the full-text document.

Alternatively, select the title of the document. You can then navigate through the document by selecting the page numbers above the document image.

To download, select ‘Download PDF’ and the file name. You can the save or print the document as you would any PDF file.

(To view the bibliographic record select ‘Citation/Abstract’ in the results list.)

Creating a durable link and sharing a link

To create a durable link to a record, in the results list record select Permalink. A box opens with a durable URL, which you can cut and paste.

To easily share a link, select the title of the document in the results list. Then select the ‘Share’ button and chose from the options.

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