British House of Lords Papers at Memorial Library

Table of Contents

What Are the House of Lords Papers?

The House of Lords papers provide the House of Lords with information for its consideration or arise out of its deliberations. They are roughly comparable to U.S. Congressional reports and documents. The Papers include bills, reports, minutes, and evidence taken by committees, and estimates and appropriations. There's a set of House of Lords papers for each session of Parliament.

The House of Lords have been published as a separate series only since 1897. Prior to that year, selected House of Lords papers were included in the House of Commons series. Memorial's collection of the House of Lords papers goes back to 1897.

The House of Lords papers and House of Commons papers are also known collectively as the "Sessional papers." Usually, however, when someone refers to the "Sessional papers," they're referring to the House of Commons papers.

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Do the House of Lords Papers and the House of Commons Papers Contain the Same Information?

It is generally thought that the House of Lords papers contain few papers not found in the House of Commons papers. The House of Commons papers are usually the more useful papers, but House of Lords papers can be useful in tracking the progress of a bill. Also, the House of Lords has appointed its own investigative committees, and the reports of and evidence presented to the committees can only be found in the House of Lords papers.

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How the Papers are Organized

Arrangement of sessional papers
Each session of Parliament usually lasts one year. A single session of Parliament may have several volumes of papers; these volumes make up a sessional set.

Page numbering

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House of Lords Papers Held by Memorial Library

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Indexes for House of Lords Papers

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House of Lords Papers on the World Wide Web

What's available on the Web

Public bills

Select Committee publications

Other House of Lords publications on the Web

The full text of other selected House of Lords publications, including House of Lords debates (Hansards), Minutes and Order Papers, and Standing Orders of the House of Lords relating to Public Business, can be found on the Web at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld/ldpubns.htm

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Citing the House of Lords Papers

There is no single standard method of citing the Parliamentary Papers. 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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Page created 3/00; last updated 4/6/05.

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Beth Harper
Government Documents Reference Librarian
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