Hansard Publications and Papers
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- Held At: Parliamentary Archives: GB-061
- Catalogue Reference: HAN
- Date: 1803-1907
- Level: Fonds
- Extent: 5 series; 2 files
- Creator Name: Hansard, Thomas Curson, (1776-1833), printer
- Administrative or Biographical History: Thomas Curson Hansard was a printer, made famous by being given the contract to publish the Parliamentary Debates in 1803. The debates are now published by Hansard Publishing Union, Limited.
It was customary for Clerks at the Table on occasion to note down speeches made in the House. The practice came to an end in the Lords around 1714 and in the Commons it was forbidden in 1628. Publication was considered a breach of privilege. In spite of this, debates in the Houses were sometimes published unofficially during the 17th and 18th centuries. From 1768 there was systematic newspaper reporting of debates and from 1771 no effective ban on parliamentary reporting was exercised. In spite of this relative freedom to report, the content of the speeches in the longer accounts in the 18th century may be in part imaginary, the points made by the speakers were frequently marshalled in the wrong order, and the exact wording was seldom captured. In 1803 newspaper reporters obtained the right to sit in specific parts of the Commons Gallery and in 1831 they were assigned a specific section of the Lords Gallery. The debates for 1803 to 1830 were prepared from matter previously printed in newspapers, pamphlets, etc. From 1830 onwards, T.C Hansard also used his own reporters and sent proofs to members for revision. Speeches supplied by members are marked with asterisks. Until 1878, however, the volumes were still mainly compiled from newspaper reports. From 1878 Treasury grants were made in aid of publication. This enabled them to employ four full time reporters and to report more fully. No speech reported from 1878 onwards was normally less than a third of its length as delivered, important speeches were in the first person, with others in the third. From 1909 onwards each House published their own official verbatim reports of Debates. The editors and reporters of Debates are now officials of their respective Houses.
- Acquisition: HAN/1-HAN/4 are published works, gradually accumulated over the years. HAN/5 was deposited by Hansard, 31 July 1972. Accession Number 1113. HAN/6 was deposited by Dr Chris Pond of the House of Commons Library. Accessioned 11 July 1995; accession Number 3001. HAN/7 was also deposited by Dr Chris Pond. Accessioned 21 Dec 2001; accession Number 3981.
- Description: HAN/1-HAN/4 consist of bound, published volumes of Parliamentary debates, 1803-1907. HAN/5 comprises 11 files of miscellaneous papers, accounts and correspondence produced by T C Hansard in the course of his life and work. HAN/6 consists of a letter from Thomas C Hansard to J Jarratt and HAN/7 of letters to Hansard from Peers and MPs requesting copies of debates.
- Language: English
- Related Material: Copies of the Official Report from 1909 onwards are in HC/OF for the Commons and HL/PO/OF for the Lords. For Parliamentary Debates before 1803, see the unofficial proceedings printed in BOOK/5170-BOOK/5172.
- Related Record:
- Access Status: Open