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Hansard (Parliamentary Debates)

The text of many parliamentary debates (also known as Hansard or the Official Report) can be accessed online for free, or via paid subscription services.

Before 1803 parliamentary debates were unofficial and as such the records that exist are incomplete and collected from various private sources. Hansard (the official record of debates) was introduced in 1803, but it remained a selective record of debates until it became the Official Report in 1909.

More information about the history of parliamentary debates and Hansard can be found in the House of Commons factsheet.

House of Commons and House of Lords Debates

  • Hansard, 1803-2005
    via Historic Hansard (Legacy site, free service, text of debates)
    Also available through UK Parliamentary Papers (Subscription service, available in universities and large reference libraries, text of debates)
  • Hansard, 1803-2019
    via Hansard at Huddersfield (Free service, combines textual analysis techniques with interactive visualisations to allow searching for patterns in Hansard)

House of Commons only


Houses of Parliament Hansard as XML

Accessing parliamentary debates offline

The Parliamentary Archives holds printed copies of:

  • A selection of early parliamentary debates
  • Hansard from 1803 onwards

Universities and large reference libraries are also likely to hold printed copies of parliamentary debates/Hansard.