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Journals of the House of Lords at Memorial Library

Table of Contents

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What are the Journals of the House of Lords?

The journals are the daily record for the House of Lords.  They are roughly comparable to the Daily Digest of the Congressional Record.  They contain information on the way the House votes, progress of bills, and the different matters that are taken up.

The House of Lords journals are some of the most ancient parliamentary proceedings in existence.  What is referred to as "the rolls" began in 1278 and continue to 1503 in Norman-French. 

Holdings: the Norman-French rolls from 1278-1503; the House of Lords Journals from 1509-present.

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Where are the Journals at Memorial Library?

The Journals are in the Government Documents Collection, on Stack Level 2M, South Stacks, aisles 6 (1509-present) and 38 (1278-1503).

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Are there any House of Lords Journals online?

1509-1717 and 1832-1834

The website British History Online has texts of the House of Lords Journals from 1509-1717 & 1832-1834 online. Once you've clicked on a link to an individual volume, you can browse that volume page by page, or search it.

1997 to present

Parliament's official website has House of Lords Journals from 1997 to the present online.

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Using the Journals of the House of Lords

The journals are organized 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.   Within each volume, the organization is by date of meeting.

Each meeting proceeding is in the following order:
  • Names of those who met
  • Speech given by the Sovereign
  • Prayers
  • Order of specific business items
If any of the items refer to a specific bill or command paper, the number of the bill or command paper will be noted in parentheses on the right-hand side of the column.

There is a subject index at the back of each volume.

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Using the indexes of the Journals of the House of Lords

Each index is organized by coverage of specific volume numbers.  Within each index, the organization is by general subject entry, then specific subject entry, session (year), and finally page number.

Example:

 Streets
     -- order to prevent stoppages in
            (1973-74, v.206), 6
            (1974, v.207), 17
            (1974-75, v.208), 19

Therefore, if you were looking for information regarding an order to prevent stoppages in streets in 1973, you would find volume 206, page number 6.

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Where can I go for more help?

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.

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Citing the Journals

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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Selected Reference Works About the Journals

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British Parliamentary Publications at Memorial Library | Government Documents at Memorial Library |
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Page created 8/99; last updated 10/14/09.

Created by Terry Kemper; maintained by

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