Wednesday 23 September 2009

The Parliamentary Archives

Every day Parliament produces a host of documents - Bills; Committee Reports; Hansard - and many others. It has been doing so for centuries. The collections in the Parliamentary Archives contain over three million records. Many of these documents have great historical significance.
Some of the cornerstones of the British constitution can be accessed here.

For scholars the records are important primary documents for their research. Once they were available to a priviliged few - but now increasing numbers of these records are available to many more people. Some have been digitised - To access these press here. The Archives at Westminster is usually open to the public all year round, Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.00pm (apart from public holidays).

As well as useful for researching Parliament; and British history (political and social), the records can be useful for investigating family trees. There is a guide for users.

To find out more about the Parliamentary Archives go to http://www.parliament.uk/publications/archives.cfm