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Parliamentary Papers at MU: Other Guides/Credits

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

Other Guides to Parliamentary Papers


Photo Credits:

Home Page: 

Interior of the House of Commons.  Parliamentary Copyright/Creative Commons.  UKParliament.

Parliamentary Building.  Creative Commons.  Qsimple.

Interior of the Hose of Lords.  Parliamentary Copyright/Creative Commons.  UKParliament.


All text came from research using the guides listed under "Other Guides."  Direct quotes are cited, rest is simplified and/or paraphrased.

Most useful text in creating this guide was:  Olle, James G.  An Introduction to British Government Publications.  2nd. ed.  London:  Association of Assistant Librarians, 1973.

How to Cite Parliamentary Papers (Chicago Style, 16th edition)

Citing Statutes

The Acts of Parliament are identified by title, year (also include the regnal year for statutes enacted before 1963), and chapter number. Monarchs' names in regnal-year citations are abbreviated:

Car. (Charles), Edw., Eliz., Geo., Hen., Jac. (James), Phil. & M., Rich., Vict., Will., W. & M.

The year precedes the name; the monarch's ordinal, if any, follows it (15 Geo 6). An ampersand is used between regnal years and between hames of dual monarches (1&2 W. & M.). Include the jurisdiction if it is not clear from the context or the citation.


Act of Settlement, 1701, 12 & 13 Will. 3, c. 2.
Consolidated Fund Act, 1963, c.1 (Eng.).
Manchester Corporation Act, 1967, c. xl.

Three frequently cited compilations of statutory material for the U.K. are:

  • The Statutes of the Realm. Statutes from 1235 through 1948, with the exception of the years 1642-60.
  • Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, ed. C.H. Firth and R.S. Rait, 3 vols. (London, 1911). Statutes for the years 1642-60.
  • Public General Acts and Measures, published annually since 1831 by HMSO.

An additional source is the UK Statute Law Database, which has been available since 2006 and draws on The Statutes of the Realm and its official revisions.


Citing UK Parliamentary Debates

Before 1909, debates from both houses of Parliament were published together; since then they have been published in separate series. Cite the volume number and series and include the year and column number. H.C. stands for House of Commons. The use of Hansard or Hansard's to cite Parliamentary debates is an older practice that should be avoided.


249 Parl. Deb. (3d ser.) (1879) 611-27
13 Parl. Deb. (4th ser.) (1893) 1273
407 Parl. Deb. H.C. (5th ser.) (1944-45) 425-46.


Citing UK Command Papers

Command Papers may consist of a pamphlet or several volumes. They originate outside of Parliament and are presented to Parliament "by command of Her [His] Majesty." Reports' authors' names are included if not clear from context. Dates may include a month or only a year. The different abbreviations for "command" indicate the series and must not be altered. No s is added to the plural (Cmmd. 3831, 3832).

No. 1 to No. 4222 (1833-69)
C. 1 to C. 9550 (1870-99)
Cd. 1 to Cd. 9239 (1900-1918)
Cmd. 1 to Cmd. 9889 (1919-1956)
Cmnd. 1-9927 (1956-86)
Cm. 1- (1986-)


HM Treasury, The Basie Facility and the Sterling Area, 1968, Cmnd. 3787, at 15-16.
First Interim Report of the Committee on Currency and Foreign Exchanges after the War, 1918, Cd. 9182
Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration, Thirteenth Report, 1983, Cmnd. 8878.


Citing Unpublished UK Government Documents

References usually include such classifications as Admiralty (Adm.), Chancery (C), Colonial Office (CO), Exchequer (E), Foreign Office (FO), or State Papers (SP) as well as the collection and volume numbers and, where relevant, the folio or page number(s).

Citations include abbreviations for important collections in the British Library (BL) such as:

  • Cotton Manuscripts (with subdivisions named after Roman emperors, e.g., Cotton MSS, Calig. D.VII.
  • Harleian Manuscripts
  • Sloane Manuscripts
  • Additional Manuscripts (Add. or Addit.)


Patent Rolls, 3 Rich. 2, pt. 1, m. 12d (Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1377-1381, 470).
Hodgson to Halifax, 22 Feb. 1752, NA, CO 137:48.
Clarendon to Lumley, 16 Jan. 1869, NA, FO Belgium/133, no. 6.
[Henry Elsynge], "The moderne forme of the Parliaments of England," BL, Add. MSS 26645.
Minutes of the General Court, 17 Apr. 1733,:21, BL, Add. MSS 25545.
Letter of a Bristol Man, BL, Add. MSS 33029:152-55.