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Finding Official Publications

What are British Official Publications and why might you use them?

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 Age

Examples include:

  • House of Commons Papers and Bills
  • Command Papers
  • House of Lords Papers and Bills
  • Hansard - Parliamentary Debates, both Commons and Lords
  • Standing and Public Bill Committee Debates
  • White and Green Papers (including government policy documents and consultations)
  • 'Non-Parliamentary' publications related to the work or policies of government, e.g. codes of practice and Home Office research publications.
  • Acts and Statutory Instruments (these are shelved in the Law section)
  • Statistical sources (most of which shelved in the statistics section, HA/ )

Library Services hold large collections of UK official publications in printed form and also providesaccess to online versions via FindIt@Bham

Most, but not yet all, parliamentary publications are available on large searchable databases and websites with a commitment to preserving online access. Please note that many of the major online resources are only available to you if you logon to FindIt@Bham

Key online sources

The services listed below are those found to be most reliable and comprehensive.  Many are freely available to all, but some are restricted to current members of the University. 


GOV.UK is the main hub for access to government information and services.

The publications page of the website lists material can be filtered according to department, date published, publication type and topic. 

Click here to access the latest publications on GOV.UK

You can stay up to date with news and developments related to government publications by signing up for email alerts at this site.

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.

Parliament TV

Parliament TV offers audio and audio-visual coverage of Parliamentary debates, committees and other proceedings.

You can search the archive of broadcasts here:

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