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Finding Official Publications


This page brings together key resources and tools for finding  official publications.

use the tabs on the right, or the contents list below, to find what you are looking for.

What are official publications?

Official publications are documents published by national governments or by inter-governmental organisations, such as the United Nations and the European Union.

It is traditional to divide UK official publications into two main types: Parliamentary and Non-Parliamentary. Parliamentary papers are a product of the work of the UK Parliament and also of the devolved parliaments and assemblies. Non parliamentary papers are the reports and other publications of individual government departments and agencies, such as the Department of Work and Pensions and the Highways Agency.

Not everything available online

It is harder to find online versions of documents produced by or for government departments but which are not presented to Parliament. Current documents will usually appear on the website of the government department concerned, but sometimes documents have moved or departments have changed names and/or web addresses. 

The UK Government Web Archive part of the National Archives is working to mitigate the effects of such changes.

Not all House of Lords papers and bills may be online.


Please note that many of the major online resources eg UK Parliamentary Papers are only available to you if you logon to FindIt@Bham with your University username and password using the Sign in link at the top right of the screen.

The Stationery Office

The Stationery Office
Although  this  is  a  commercial  enterprise  trying  to  sell  you  publications,  it  is  still  useful  for  tracking down bibliographic details, command papers numbers, etc.

For older materials you can use the HMSO/Stationery Office Annual Catalogues, which  cover almost  all  official  publications  from  1920  onwards,  located  in  the Research Reserve Social Science Reference Z 2009.E6

House of Commons Parliamentary Papers online (ProQuest U.K Parliamentary Papers)

The HCPP online database which provides access to over 200,000 House of Commons sessional papers from 1715 to the present day  is now available using ProQuest's:

Since its migration to ProQuest, the search interface has been uppdated, introducing a new range of search options and features. For more information see the ProQuest Guide.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales online

There are online sources for all of the other parts of the British Isles, both historic and current. 

For materials since the inception of the devolved assemblies (1999):


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