The House of Commons Journals are considered to be the only guide to precedents in England. Many historians consider the House of Commons Journals to be very important because they are some of the few historical documents that show the growing power of the House of Commons through the years.
Holdings: 1547 - present.Return to top of page
The Journals are in the Government Documents Collection, on Stack Level 2M, South Stacks, aisles 6 & 7.Return to top of page
The website British History Online has texts of the House of Commons Journals from 1547-1699 & 1830 online. Once you've clicked a link to an individual volume, you can browse that volume page by page, or search it.
Parliament's official website has the texts of the House of Commons Journals from 1997 to the present online.Return to top of page
The journals are arranged by volume number, with a volume usually containing several
sessions. Each volume is organized by date of session, with sessions running from
October to March. Each date follows the same order of business:
Content is primarily a descriptive narrative of House proceedings. Some speeches,
papers and reports are included in full. If the full text is not included, the Journals
will have a reference as to where to find the full text.
Individual indexes are located at the back of each volume. Part I is organized by subject headings. Part II is organized by document type (papers, addresses, amendments, bills, and resolutions). Both parts will refer you to a specific page number.
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Each index covers an arbitrary set of volumes. The indexes cover and are organized by the following documentation types:
|Accounts & Papers||Closure||Petitions, Public|
|Amendments to Questions||Debates||Provisional Orders|
|Bills, Private||Decisions||Public Accounts|
|Bills, Provisional Order||Elections||Resolutions|
|Bills, Public||European Community Documents||Returns, Sessional|
|Chairman's Panel||Instructions||Standing Orders|
|Church of England||Messages||Statutory Instruments|
|Clerk of the Crown||Oppositions||Ways & Means|
|Clerk of the House|
Under each main heading is a subject listing. The subject listing is broken down
by year. Next to each individual entry is the page number of the specific volume.
If you need assistance, please contact the government documents librarian at (608) 262-9852, or ask the librarians at the Reference Desk, in Room 262. You can also consult the section on Selected reference works about the Journals, at the end of the guide.Return to top of page
There is no single standard method of citing the Journals; however, the guide Citing British Parliamentary Publications lists some resources with guidelines on citing the Journals.
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