Hansard Online

Full text of Hansard from 1803 to now, Commons and Lords.  If you have a specific citation, go to Find by Volume and Column Number at the bottom of the page - you need to select the series number as well.  Without a citation, you will find that the basic search function is rather inflexible because it is based on the structure of Hansard’s data.  You can search for a particular debate or speaker, or by date, or using a keyword or string of words.  Be aware that the site defaults to the most recent five years unless you click All Years, and refine the date range by typing in start and end date.  

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Hansard at Huddersfield

Launched in 2019, this web resource is easier to use and is designed to help you search thematically, e.g. to find out how often, or when, a particular topic has been debated across a period of time.  Find out more, including sample searches, in these blog posts: History of Parliament and LSE

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UK Parliament website 

Content on the website includes:

  • Debates
  • Parliamentary Questions (oral and written)
  • Statements (oral and written)
  • Urgent questions and Private Notice Questions
  • Business statements and questions
  • Members’ oral contributions from both Chambers, Westminster Hall and Lords Grand Committee
  • Bills, Acts and Church Measures
  • Laid papers including laid Statutory Instruments, Command Papers,
  • House of Commons Papers and House of Lords Papers
  • Select Committee Reports
  • House of Commons Select Committee evidence
  • Early Day Motions
  • Research Briefings

The advanced search is good and allows you to narrow down by date, member, house, session, etc.  It is tucked away – go to Using this website at the bottom of the home page, then Search help, then Search Parliamentary Material.  

Use the Search box at the top of the home page if you want a simple keyword search to find information such as MPs contact details, recess dates, visiting information. 

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Managed by The National Archives, this is the official website for UK legislation, revised and as enacted from 1267 to the present. To find an item of legislation you can browse by legislation type and category or use the advanced search for title or keyword in text.  Useful notes on citation and numbering, the difference between primary and secondary legislation, etc. 

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British History Online

Primary and secondary sources on mediaeval and modern history of Great Britain and Ireland, including local and urban history, and historical Ordnance Survey maps.  Useful subject guides. 

Most of the State Papers are on BHO, also House of Commons Journals 1547-1699 and House of Lords Journals 1509-1793.  Be aware when searching the Journals that that many peers in the House of Lords Journals have titles which are the same as places, and that each day’s proceedings begin with a list of the peers present on that day, resulting in a large number of hits.  Names are often spelled in non-standard ways.  Titles may be partly in Latin and abbreviated: e.g. the archbishop of York is referred to as Archiep[iscop]us Eb[orac]orum before the Civil War, though after it the names of places and then titles gradually change to English.

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