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U.K. Parliamentary Papers

Search by Number  


Use the Search by Number form when you have information from a specific citation you need to find.

Command Papers in the Parliamentary Papers database  

The numbered series of Command papers began in 1833 and continues to the present. Even though the command papers citation format changed over time, the user just needs to know the Command Paper number and enter that into the search box.


Note that because there are 6 separate series of Command Papers from 1833 to the present (see below), a search for a given command paper number may result in up to 6 different results. This is by design as it is easier for the user to view 6 items to determine which Command Paper is the one relevant to their research, rather than to remember which is the proper abbreviated publication prefix.

In 1833, a numbered series began and the form of the citation changed over time.

[1] - [4222] - 1833-1868/69
[C.1] - [C.9550] - 1870-1899
[Cd 1] - [Cd 9239] - 1900-1918
[Cmd 1] - [Cmd 9889] - 1919-1956
[Cmnd 1] - [Cmnd 9927] - 1956-November 1986
[Cm 1] onwards - November 1986 to date

During the eighteenth century, Command Papers were printed as appendices to the House of Commons Journal. This method was abandoned as the number of papers the Government wished to bring before the House grew.


Sample search:  In the image above, there is a search for #542.   There are 5 results, shown below, showing the various Command Papers assigned that number over time. 


Note that the Command Papers search can be limited by the following:

  • Sessional Volume number (on the initial search page)
  • Parliamentary Session or Date Range (see options in the upper left of the results page),  or
  • subject or century (from the filters in the lower left)

in order to winnow down the results, if viewing the short list of titles isn't helpful.

Members, Offices & Constituencies  


Use the Members, Offices, and Constituencies form to look up members, either individually, or those who share party affiliation, office, or national origin from 1803-2005.

Use the Lookup Member link to check for correct spelling.


Note:  to use the check boxes for office, party affiliation, or nation, it is not necessary to fill in any information at the top of the form.  For example, check the box for Assistant Postmaster-General and then the Search butten to see which Members of Parliament have held that position. 



The Member Profile has four tabs

  •  Details,
  • Constituency,
  • Parliamentary Offices, and
  • Hansard Contributions. 


(Note:  not all member profiles contain all four tabs). 

Working with Results  

ResultsAbove the search box at the top of the page is the link to allow users to modify the search (users are returned to the search page with any information used for the search included there), a checkbox below the search box allows users to search within results (full text will be searched)  to narrow results.


At the top of the list is the option to change the order in which results are displayed.  Users can choose relevance, oldest to newest,or newest to oldest.


From the result list, users can filter using the options in the left column, including date/parliamentary session, paper series or type, chamber, document type, century/collection, document features, or subject.


looking at a document

From the document results, using the buttons in the upper right, users can download the PDF, email a link to the document, copy the permalink, print the citation information, or share information using social media. 


On the left side, below the title, use the tabs to see either the citation information about the document, or the page images.  Full text results will be noted on the left of the page image.  Use the Document Features for links to maps, illustrations, and tables.

Search History & Saved Items  


With each search session, a search history (noted as Recent searches) is maintained, and items you select are saved. 

You can use this to keep track of your good search, and when you are done working, you can review and export information about your selected items.

research searches

Each search, and use of a filter, is noted with the result count.   You can either get the link to reuse later, you can click to modify a specific search, or you can delete that particular search from your search history. 




From the list of selected items you can

  • return to the citation/abstract to review the document,
  • download the document
  • copy the permalink, or
  • delete the item from your list of selected items.