Nineteenth-Century Parliamentary Papers
The Nineteenth Century House of Commons Papers...cannot be matched as a historical source in any other country in the world.'
Norman Gash, Times Literary Supplement
Now, online for the first time, 19th Century House of Commons Parliamentary Papers is a major new resource vital to the study of 19th century Britain, its colonies and the wider world. The papers are among the richest and most detailed primary sources for the history of the 19th century. 19th Century House of Commons Parliamentary Papers online, with searchable full text, and detailed subject indexing, makes it possible to fully exploit the enormous potential of this historical resource for the first time.
The origins of HCPP online lie in the Chadwyck-Healey microfiche edition of the nineteenth century House of Commons Sessional Papers. Published between 1980 and 1983, the microfiche edition includes filmed images of 79,527 papers, covering 4.2 million pages. The accompanying 5 volume index, Peter Cockton's 'Subject Catalogue of the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, 1801-1900', was the first thematic listing of the complete set of parliamentary papers. HCPP online brings these two resources together, unlocking a century of policy making, investigation, correspondence and reporting for researchers of all kinds.
The index to the 79,527 papers was published in May 2005. The first full text release in August 2005 included more than 829,000 pages, covering 1840 to 1859. Subsequent substantial releases will complete the file in 2006.
As the working documents of government, the parliamentary papers encompass all areas of social, political, economic and foreign policy, showing how issues were explored and legislation was formed. Many contributors to the papers were found outside the official world, providing evidence or supplying memoranda to committees and commissions. The labours and concerns of Matthew Arnold, John Stuart Mill, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, Edwin Chadwick, and the Brunels are recorded in these pages, alongside thousands of others. The evidence gathered by numerous Committees and Royal Commissions influenced public opinion and social and political philosophies as disparate as those of Marx, Dickens and Disraeli.
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