British Parliamentary Debates at Memorial Library

Table of Contents

What Are the Debates (aka Hansards)?

The Debates (also known as Hansards) are records of what is said in Parliament, and are published in series. These series are roughly equivalent to the U.S.'s Congressional Record. The debate series can be divided into three eras, according to what's covered and how the debates are recorded and published. The debates are further divided into different series, depending on who published them.

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Where Are the Debates at Memorial Library?

The major series described below are in the Government Documents Collection, on Stack Level 2M, South Stacks. Government documents aisles are marked by pink cards.

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Where Can I Go for More Help?

If you need assistance, please contact the government documents librarian at 262-9852, or the librarians at the Reference Desk, in Room 262. You can also consult the section on "Selected Reference Works About the Debates," at the end of this guide.

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Descriptions of the Major Series

1066-1803

Overview

The major series, 1066-1803

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1803-1909

Overview Notes on indexing, 1803-1909

The major series, 1803-1909

1st series 1803-1820: vols. 1-41

  2nd series (also known as "New series") 1820-1830: vols. 1-25

3rd series 1830-1891: vols. 1-356 4th series 1892-1908: vols. 1-77

 
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1909-present

Overview
Notes on indexing, 1909-present The major series, 1909-present

House of Commons 5th series 1909-1980/1981: vols. 1-1,000

House of Commons 6th series 1981/1982-present: vols. 1- House of Lords 5th series (1909-)
Note: This series called Series 5 to continue the series numbering of the debates of Parliament (including House of Commons and House of Lords) issued 1803-1908 as Series 1-4.

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Parliamentary Debates (Hansards) Online

House of Commons Debates Online

Currently, Commons debates from two different eras are available online:

  Eighteenth-century   |   Late 20th-century to present

Eighteenth Century House of Commons Debates Online

Eighteenth Century Collections Online

Late 20th Century to Present-Day House of Commons Debates Online

Available on the Internet (no access restrictions) from the United Kingdom Parliament's web service.

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House of Lords Debates Online

Prior to 1909, the House of Lords Debates were not published as a separate series. Occasionally you can find 18th-century House of Lords debates included in Eighteenth Century Collections Online.

Late 20th Century to Present-Day House of Lords Debates Online

Available on the Internet (no access restrictions) from the United Kingdom Parliament's web service.

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Finding Other Accounts of the Debates

The UW-Madison's General Library System does have other accounts of selected debates. These are generally reports of debates on specific topics (the "Corn Laws," Ireland, political corruption, etc.), and most are on microfilm or microfiche. To find these debates in MadCat, try the following search terms in the "Keyword" or "Guided Keyword" search modes:
Great Britain
England
Parliament?
debate?
So far, the following search phrase has turned up the most documents:
parliament? and debates and (great britain or england)
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Citing the Debates

There is no single standard method of citing the Parliamentary Debates; however, the guide Citing British Parliamentary Publications (at http://www.library.wisc.edu/guides/govdocs/british/citing.htm) lists some resources with guidelines on citing the Papers.

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Selected Reference Works About the Debates

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British Parliamentary Publications at Memorial Library | Government Documents at Memorial Library |
Memorial Library Home Page | UW-Madison Libraries

Page created 3/00; last updated 1/14/08.

Created and maintained by:

Beth Harper
Government Documents Reference Librarian
276 Memorial Library
728 State St.
Madison, WI 53706
(608)262-9852