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House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP)

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Presentación del tema: "House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP)"— Transcripción de la presentación:

1 House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP)
My name is Rob Newman and I am the product manager at ProQuest for House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP) among other databases. In this presentation I’m going to provide an introduction to parliamentary papers, give some suggestions on using the 20th century papers and then show you some of what’s available in other collections. House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP) Rob Newman, Product Manager, ProQuest

2 ProQuest have now digitised papers from 1801 to the present
ProQuest have now digitised papers from 1801 to the present. With the addition of the 18th Century Collection this means all extant sessional papers can be searched back to 1715.

3 Qué son los Parliamentary Papers?
Documentación que publica la Cámara de los Comunes(pero no son grabaciones transcritas de las sesiones). Se han digitalizado todos los documentos desde 1801 hasta hoy (aprox. 180,000). Son documentos de trabajo de todas las áreas del gobierno, como son el área social, políticas gubernamentales, economía y asuntos extreriores, etc. What ProQuest have digitised as House of Commons Parliamentary Papers are all sessional papers ordered to be printed by the House of Commons. With the exception of the 18th century collection, we don’t include other documents relating to parliament that are not considered to be sessional papers – so you won’t find records of debates (Hansard), or other things like Private Bills not printed as parliamentary papers. But we have digitised all papers from 1801 – over 180,000, many of them hundreds of pages long. Parliamentary papers are the most detailed primary source for the nineteenth century and beyond for Britain, its colonies and the wider world. What you get are the working documents of the British government for all areas of social, political, economic and foreign policy. As well as historians, more recent papers will be used in political science, public administration, law, economics and related fields. Some papers are also used by scientific researchers, select committee reports on public health and epidemics.

4 For example a scientific article cites House of Commons report on Bovine TB – this is from Agricola, an agriculture database on the new ProQuest platform.

5 Here’s the report on bovine TB referred to there, in HCPP.

6 Qué son los Parliamentary Papers?
Existen tres categorías: Proyectos (borrador de ley). Documentos ejecutivos (documentos creados por los diferentes departamentos del gobierno). Documentos de Cámara (documentación relativa al trabajo en la House of Commons y sus comités, como los informes del Select Committee). The papers are divided into three types. Bills are drafts of legislation, which if passed by both houses will become Acts of Parliament. Command Papers are Government papers (from Ministers), in theory presented ‘by Command of Her Majesty’. These include treaties, White Papers with policy proposals, regular departmental reports, and any other documents laid before the House of Commons by government ministers. House Papers are documents resulting from the work of the House and its Committees, including accounts, select committee reports etc.

7 Cómo Creamos HCPP Online
Escaneamos 9.5 milliones de páginas para crear el documento. Utilizamos OCRing para crear documentos que permitan la búsqueda a texto completo Integramos los documentos con indexadores: Cockton for C19, HMSO, POLIS/PIMS Creating HCPP online involved scanning 9.5 million pages and OCRing them to minimum 95% accuracy to produce searchable text. The papers were scanned from the Chadwyck-Healey microfiche collection, but we have been rescanning some illustrative material from print copies. Another crucial component to the online delivery of parliamentary papers is the indexing. ProQuest’s Chadwyck-Healey division had already published the definitive subject catalogue of the 19th century papers. The 20th Century papers use terms from the official indexes (HMSO, POLIS/PIMS), overlaid with broad subject categories based on the 19th century Subject Catalogue, updated for more recent material with a few new terms such as ‘the environment’ and ‘mass media’. Keyword searching opens new possibilities – searching for individual names referenced or contributing to papers which might not otherwise be apparent.

8 So for example by keyword searching on ‘Gandhi’ or ‘John Stuart Mill’ you can find correspondence or contributions to reports that would be very difficult to locate using the print or microfiche papers.

9 The search page presents different options and depending on the nature of your search you will want to use different fields. The keyword search (unless you limit to Full records only) will look for any hits in the full text. With over 5.2 million pages, if you do a keyword search on a common term with no limiters, this will return a large results set. But it can be very useful if looking for names, locations, phrases or in combination with other fields. If you limit to full records only, this will effectively combine the paper title and subject field, so should find the most relevant content on a more general topic. If you know that you are looking for a specific paper, then you can use the title field, or the paper number field and would often want to combine with the year or session to find the correct document. For example if you have a reference to a citation with session and paper number such as 2003/04 HC 57, enter these into session and paper number fields. Subject field can be very useful, to find the relevant papers on a topic. For the 20th century papers have one or more top-level subjects such as “Defence and the armed services” or “trade and commerce” – these are consistent terms applied by ProQuest across all 20th century and 19th century papers. They also have one or more specific subject terms from the HMSO or POLIS indexes. You can use the alphabetical list to find appropriate subject terms. So for example to find papers on the EU Common Agricultural Policy try that as a subject. Chair/author can be used to find reports by the chairperson/lead author of the select committee or royal commission, for example, you can find the 1942 Beveridge Report which called for the establishment of the National Health Service by searching for Beveridge as chair/author. But with the exception of reports of committees/commissioners, papers are not normally indexed with an author. The Limit to fields let you specify document types, for example, if you are looking for legislation then limit to just Bills. It can be a good idea to enter a limited date range, particularly for keyword searches, if you know that you want material from a specific period. Finally the ‘paper containing’ field lets you limit to documents including maps, tables or illustrations.

10 As a sample search in the keyword field “las palmas” has found 157 records in the 20th century collection. The number of hits is displayed on the results list so you can judge from the title and number of hits whether it is worth taking a closer look.

11 One of the series that may be of particular interest are the Diplomatic and consular reports, these were published annually in the early 20th century (and late 19th century) and are reports on trade and commerce of foreign countries, regions or ports. You can find the reports searching for “diplomatic and consular reports” in the title and do a keyword search on the place of interest, either combined with the title search or search within the document.

12 They can be quite difficult to use because many separate reports were bound up into single Parliamentary Papers, so you get thousands of pages and the main title, if it’s been taken directly from the first page, doesn’t reflect the full volume.

13 This is a report on the Canary Islands from 1909 and you can see it goes into some detail on specific imports and exports.


15 There is Spanish-language content in the database, keyword searching can be used to locate this. Many of the documents are treaties or diplomatic correspondence and ‘firmado’ is a good keyword to use to find these.


17 With the 18th and 19th century collections you will see some additional options on the search page. The main difference with the 19th century collection is that this has subject indexing applied according to a controlled hierarchy which I will demonstrate shortly. The 18th century collection is much smaller – as fewer papers were published by Parliament in this era and they were not systematically classified and preserved – but includes some additional categories of material as well as sessional papers. These can be selected or deselected with limit to boxes. You can also limit search by collection. The 18th century material is not subject indexed but can be searched by document type and there is a further option to search debates and journals, which describe proceedings in Parliament by day, using a day/month/year search.

18 This is the subject hierarchy for the 19th century, this is based on the 5-volume Cockton subject catalogue of 19th century papers. This makes it easy to find the papers on a relevant subject area, for example the abolition of slavery. There are 19 top level subjects, broken down into middle and lower level terms. As well as using this as a subject select browse from the search screen, there is also an option to browse the subject catalogue with the papers linked under the headings.

19 The reports on trade and commerce go back into the 1850s
The reports on trade and commerce go back into the 1850s. The titles vary in the 19th century but they are all subject indexed as “Commercial reports”. Again the best approach is to combine this with a keyword search. For local place names though beware that the English spelling in the 19th century may be different – for example Tenerife often appears as Teneriffe.

20 Here’s an example of a report on the Canary Islands from 1863.

21 For diplomatic correspondence and other non-trade related papers then search on subject = Spain (or browse the subject catalogue). There are hundreds of papers, going back to the Napoleonic wars.

22 Ejemplo C19th papers - España
1809 (161) documentos, relativos a España. 1823 (003) Correspondencia entre Don Victor Saez and Mr. Secretary Canning. [935] [936] España. Correspondencia entre el gobierno Británico y el Español. 1875 [C.1235] España. No. 2 (1875). Correspondencia referente al reconocimeinto del Príncipe Alfonso como Rey de España. 1876 [C.1606] España. No. 3 (1876). Correspondencia relativa al asesinato de Mr. Robert, en San Juan del Puerto, en España. These are a few examples of papers on Spain from the 19th century collection

23 Otros ejemplos C19th papers
1840 (137) East India. Actividades del gobierno de India, desde1834 a 1838. 1842 [380] [381] [382] Comunicado Real sobre el empleo de niños en las minas y en fábricas. Primer informe (Mines and Collieries), Apéndice. [1996] Comité de Científicos: Apéndice al informe relativo a la epidemia de cólera de 1854. 1859 Session 2 [2524] Correspondencia relativa a los acontecimientos acaecidos en Italia. Enero a Mayo, 1859. [C.7222] Censo de Inglaterra y Gales, Volumen IV. Informe general, con tablas de sumario y apéndices. And some examples of other content – colonial administration, reports on major social issues, scientific inquiries, diplomatic correspondence, population statistics.

24 18th Century Collection Incluye material suplementario como House of Lords papers, Private Bills, Lords & Commons Journals. Permite buscar documentos y debates transcritos por fecha. Incluye extensa documentación de enfrentamientos Anglo-Hispanos en el siglo XVIII, como Papers Relative to the Rupture with Spain (1762). Documentos sobre la trata de esclavos, la East India Company, el crack de la burbuja de los mares del sur, Revolución industrial. With the 18th century collection coverage is extended back to 1715, with supplementary material back to These are from subsequent compilations of papers as no systematic collection was done at the time. Many important sessional papers were published in the Journals, and then omitted from the collection of sessional papers. There is no subject indexing for this collection, but there are additional search options including the ability to search by calendar date for journals and debates. The 18th century collection includes coverage of Anglo-Spanish rivalries in the 18th century, as well as topics such as the slave trade, trade and colonization in India, the South Sea Bubble, and the beginnings of the industrial revolution.

25 Slide Title This is a separate search option for the 18th century to use the regnal year and date fields, which only work with the journals & Parliamentary Register.

26 Slide Title These are the results for a search on an exact date –the relevant entries from House of Commons journals, House of Lords journals & Parliamentary Register.

27 Hansard Hansard, la transcripción de los debates parlamentarios desde 1803, ha sido digitalizada por el gobierno de UK. Permitirá realizar búsquedas cruzadas con el interface de HCPP que estará disponible en 2011. Permite la búsqueda por palabra clave, fecha o persona. Lores y Comunes. Hansard, the transcripts of Parliamentary debates since 1803, have been digitised by the UK Parliament. This will be made cross-searchable in the ProQuest HCPP interface in It can be searched by keyword, or by date (using the journals and debates search to find a specific day’s Hansard), or by member (e.g. debates in which Winston Churchill spoke). This includes the House of Lords as well as House of Commons Hansard.

28 Recursos complementarios
British Periodicals: cientos de publiaciones periódicas desde 1680s a 1930s con informes contemporáneos, análisis y opinión. The Annual Register: Un registro de acontecimientos mundiales desde 1758, publicados anualmente. Documents on British Policy Overseas: Correspondencia entre diplomáticos Británicos en el siglo XX. Other related British historical resources are available from ProQuest. British Periodicals, on the new ProQuest platform, is an archive of hundreds of periodicals published between the 1680s to 1930s and a great source of contemporary reporting, analysis and opinion on many of the issues documented in HCPP. The Annual Register is a record of world events since 1758, published annually. It has entries on countries all around the world; the historical volumes include extended accounts of British parliamentary proceedings. Documents on British Policy Overseas is a collection of British diplomatic correspondence in the twentieth century, based on volumes published by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – many of these volumes trace the origins of the two World Wars.

29 British Periodicals is now on the new ProQuest platform
British Periodicals is now on the new ProQuest platform. Although it is all journals published in Britain, that doesn’t mean everything in there is about Britain.

30 The Annual Register – for most of its history there are entries per country per year reporting on major events.

31 All of the documents in DBPO have been keyed as and fully indexed to ensure accurate searching. Here’s the first report from the ambassador in Vienna on the news of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the First World War.

32 House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP)
That’s the end of my presentation, I hope this has given some ideas of what you can find in Parliamentary papers and some other ProQuest resources. House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP) Rob Newman, Product Manager, ProQuest

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