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Official Publications : Non-Parliamentary Publications

Finding Non-Parliamentary documents - Print

The Hartley Library's Ford Collection of British Official Publications has an excellent, although not comprehensive, stock of non-Parliamentary documents.  Our earliest  ones date back to the 19th century and we still selectively collect print copies of key documents.

In the Ford Collection's Non-Parliamentary section they are arranged by calendar year, then alphabetically within each year by the issuing department (e.g. Home Office, Health)

Only those added since 1995 can be found via WebCat.  For earlier ones, try the right year/department box, but if you don't find what you seek, please ask as we may still be able to help.

Also see pages 15 - 17 of our booklet for a little more information.

What are 'Non-Parliamentary' Publications?

These are items from official bodies, but are not part of the parliamentary publishing regime.  Many are published by the government departments themselves, which increasingly means published only to the web. It can be hard to guess from content and subject if an item might be Parliamentary (e.g. a House of Commons Paper) or non-Parliamentary.  Further confusion arises when parts of an inquiry, for example the evidence, are published as non-Parliamentary, but the final report may be presented to Parliament and published as a Command Paper .

Finding non-Parliamentary materials, both in print and online, differs from finding Parliamentary materials, so this guide will try to explain approaches you can try.  

Typical items include:

  • consultation papers
  • codes of practice
  • departmental circulars
  • research reports
  • annual reports of regulatory bodies
  • inspection reports (e.g. individual schools or hospitals)
  • some inquiry reports
  • accident investigation reports
  • statistics (but also see our guide, Data and Statistics)

Best sources for finding non-Parliamentary publications include:

Do you need more help?

If you wish to know more about the way British Official Publications can support your research, please get in touch by emailing libenqs@soton.ac.uk.

 

Finding Non-Parliamentary documents - Online

Whist the vast majority of Parliamentary reports and debates, both historic and contemporary, are available online to members of this University, the same is not true of non-Parliamentary material.  There have not yet been any systematic attempts to digitise older documents.  Prior to the launch of the UK Government WebArchive even 'born digital' documents from departmental web pages could be removed and/or web links would break.

The services listed to the left are the best places to start, but we may be able to suggest other approaches if you do not find what you need.



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