ProQuest has partnered with the National Library of Scotland to create the very first digitised collection of 19th Century House of Lords Parliamentary Papers, providing online access to previously unseen and valuable historical documents. This new collection improves research outcomes for scholars of British History, British Government, Political Science, History and more.
As the working documents of government, the House of Lords Parliamentary Papers encompass wide areas of social, political, economic and foreign policy, providing evidence of committees and commissions during a time when the Lords in the United Kingdom wielded considerable power. Most importantly from a legislative perspective, this collection will include many bills which originated and were subsequently rejected by the Lords – rich indicators of the direction and interests of the Lords that have been largely lost to researchers.
Further, the final version of a bill passing from Commons to the Lords will also be included in the newly digitised papers. The collection will shed new light on edits and revisions taken by the Lords on these key bills in their last stages of the legislative process and will provide a full study and understanding of this activity. The House of Lords Parliamentary Papers will fill in the gap in how legislation was authored, amended, and passed. Revealing previously unknown material such as statistical data, oral evidence, and letters and business papers relating not only to Britain but also to the many parts of the world that were under British influence during that time, this is a highly valuable resource.
There are very few surviving copies of this important historical collection because of the way the documents were originally printed and stored. The National Library of Scotland has one of the most comprehensive sets in existence as part of its world class collections and is delighted to be working closely with the House of Lords Library to deliver this project.
Dr John Scally, Scotland’s National Librarian said: “More British Prime Ministers served in the Lords in the 19th century than in the House of Commons, despite the progressive dwindling of the influence of the upper chamber. This is a fascinating period in our history and digitisation will make these important papers available on any screen anytime, anywhere....”