“Troublesome to find and often overlooked”: the House of Lords papers digitisation project.
ProQuest’s U.K. Parliamentary Papers resource contains “the richest and most important nineteenth century collection of printed government records in existence in any country”; but there was a gap – namely, the papers of the House of Lords papers from 1806 onwards. It is little known that these papers contain much which is not duplicated in the House of Commons papers. For example, in session 1845 alone, there are 72 Lords papers which cannot be found in the Commons set; between 1801 and 1859, over 35 important papers on Canada and the USA have been noted as appearing in the Lords set but not in the Commons set. It made perfect sense to digitise these, and after a long search for partners and funding, the House of Lords Library and the National Library of Scotland pooled their papers (the majority from NLS) for a large-scale project funded by Proquest. This makes the U.K. Parliamentary Papers resource complete and a huge and rich resource for researchers from all disciplines.
The Library garners 15% royalties from all Proquest sales (currently worth c.£85,000)
Jan Usher (project manager) and Elaine Simpson (curatorial assistant) were recently presented with the CILIP GIG (Government Information Group) Annual Award for their work on the project.
This year will see some fundamental changes to the way in which Parliamentary Papers are made available to the public and in light of this, we have been given permission to reproduce a statement issued by TSO on their future plans for the publication of hard copy Parliamentary Papers.
“After 31st March 2016, TSO/Williams Lea Tag will no longer be printing the full range of papers for the House of Commons and House of Lords own use.
However, we will still be printing House of Commons Bills, Explanatory Notes and some Select Committee Reports for the House of Commons until 31st December 2016 and at the same time continue to supply these materials in print format to our external customers.
The House of Commons Daily Hansard and Bound volumes will continue to be supplied, as now in print format, to our external customers.
After 31st March, 2016, The House of Lords Bound Volumes will continue to be supplied in print format to our external customers. However, there will be no supply in print format of other House of Lords materials.
The TSO online library www.officialpublicationsonline.co.uk will be offered with more flexible options to purchase download of PDFs as a means of sourcing materials no longer to be supplied in print format.
Update newsletters will shortly be released confirming the arrangements for supply of House of Lords and House of Commons materials after 31 March 2016. The newsletters will be issued to all TSO external customers (including suppliers) and the Chairs of the various “Library Groups” we support.”
Access to the electronic editions of Parliamentary Papers will continue to be available via the various online sources, such as the Gov.Uk Official Publications portal, the Publications and Records section of Parliament.Uk, the TSO’s own Official Publications Online (referenced above), Dandy’s Public Information Online, and ProQuest’s Parliamentary Papers website.
The National Library of Scotland has been working in partnership with Proquest and the House of Lords to digitise 19th century House of Lords papers. These are now available alongside the House of Commons digitised material on the HCPP database.
The project is on going and more material will be added to the site as it becomes available.
The HCPP database can be accessed by anyone in Scotland that has a reader’s card for the National Library of Scotland.
This October, the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers is getting an interface refresh and moving to a new location: the ProQuest Government Platform.
To prepare for this move, please review the following recommended guidelines.
House of Commons Parliamentary Papers empowers researchers to explore the British perspective on historical and contemporary events through a vast and authoritative archive of official government documents spanning three centuries.
Moving the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers to the ProQuest Government Platform offers many benefits to both the library and the end user including:
- Faster, more intuitive interface
- Related News and ProQuest Congressional items will display, subject to your library’s holdings
- Cross-searching with Congressional content allows greater exploration into areas of social, political, economic and foreign policy of both the United Kingdom and the United StatesLaunching in late 2015, the House of Lords Parliamentary Papers will provide online access to previously unseen and valuable historical documents, and the very first digitized collection of the 19th century House of Lords Parliamentary Papers. By cross-searching both the House of Commons and the House of Lords Parliamentary Papers, researchers can explore the greater social, political, economic, and foreign policy of the United Kingdom.
- For additional information, contact us.
- View the full list of benefits
This is taken from Proquest’s site announcing product upgrades.