Official Publications

The Library holds a range of government and parliamentary publications on the Gallery and Basement floors. Electronic databases such as Justis, Lawtel, Lexis, Westlaw and Legislation.gov.uk (free) also provide access to a range of official publications. Westlaw and Lexis provide up to date coverage of legislation, with reliable commentary and annotations, while Justis provides the original text of all legislation since 1235. All subscription databases may be accessed in the library through the Electronic Resources page, with links to free sites also listed. For further information on library collections or specific research, see the Official Publications Library Guide which can be downloaded as a PDF document from this page.

The library holds, in print, Parliamentary papers from 1803 to 1981, House of Lords Bills from 1862 to 2015, House of Commons Bills from 1919 to 2015. Recent bills are available via www.parliament.uk. Command papers in print are held from 1861 to 2015, with only selected command papers are held from 2010 to 2015. Many command papers are accessible through www.gov.uk. It is worth noting that Command papers have been issued in five series, cited as:

  • C. (1870 – 1899)
  • Cd. (1900-1918)
  • Cmd. (1919-1955/56)
  • Cmnd. (1956-1986)
  • Cm. (1986- )

Parliamentary debates (Hansard) for both the Commons and the Lords are held in print from 1660 to 1743 and from 1803 to 2016 (when Hansard ceased being published in print). The library keeps the bound volumes, which incorporate any corrections. Each bound volume has an alphabetical index, and the last volume in the session has a sessional index covering all debates, motions and questions recorded with the names of all Members contributing to Parliamentary business. Hansard is also available online for years 1803–2005 via Millbank Systems Hansard database and for more recent debates via https://hansard.parliament.uk.

Statutes are available in amended form online through Westlaw or Lexis, or in original print form in: Statutes of the Realm 1235 - 1713, Statutes Revised 1235 - 1948, Statutes at Large 1235 – 1869, and Public General Acts 1870 onward. Additional updated information on primary legislation is provided in print through Halsbury's Statutes, Current Law Statutes (which provides references to Hansard), and Butterworths Annotated Legislation (which provides detailed explanatory notes).

The library holds Local and Personal Acts in print from 1801 onward, and Private Acts from 1800-1877, with additional electronic access through the library’s Justis subscription. Secondary legislation is held in print in Statutory Instruments from 1890-2009, Draft Statutory Instruments from 1950-2009, Local Statutory Instruments from 1917-2008, and Welsh Statutory Instruments from 1999-2006.