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Official Publications : By time period

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A roughly chronological guide to online sources

A great quantity of material is now available online, and much is in progress.  Some is freely available, some subscription-based, some only for the academic community.  The following are all currently accessible to members of the University of Southampton.

Listed below are the most useful e-resources for finding the full text of British Official Publications.  The list is, roughly, chronological, but there are overlaps and gaps.  Note that not all of the sources cover the same types of materials.

What's not available online?

It is harder to find online versions of non-parliamentary official publications, i.e. documents produced by or for government departments but which are not presented to parliament. Current documents will usually appear on the website of the government department, but in the past some documents have moved or departments have changed names and/or web addresses. The UK Government Web Archive is working to mitigate the effects of such changes. 

The other 'gap' in the provision of online versions is with regard to House of Lords papers and bills. Their recent Committee reports and bills are well covered on the Parliament website. Public Information Online has Lords papers from 1955/56 onwards and bills from 1956/57 onwards but the library no longer has a subscription to this database. Eighteenth century Lords documents are part of the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers service, but there is a paucity of online 19th and earlier 20th century Lords documents. Some were re-printed in the Commons set, but not all. Please ask for advice as necessary.

Links to all services mentioned above are in the main box on this page.



Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales online

There are also online sources for all of the other parts of the British Isles, both historic and current. 

For materials since the inception of the devolved assemblies (1999):

Scottish Parliament

Northern Ireland Assembly

Welsh Assembly

All of the above web sites contain extensive documentation, e.g. debates, bills, committee reports.  

Some will remember a service called EPPI: Enhanced British Parliamentary Papers on Ireland, 1801-1922. As a service, this no longer exists, but we have added the full-text of all the EPPI documents (about 14,000) to our section of the Internet Archive. These are also listed and linked to via our Library catalogue,   DIPPAM - Documenting Ireland: Parliament, People and Migration also has the EPPI content and a range of other materials.

The Stormont Papers offers access to the Parliamentary Debates of the devolved government of Northern Ireland from June 7 1921 to the dissolution of Parliament in March 28 1972