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					Official Publications Collection
Liz Mackie and Alison Steed, June 2009
QG LAW003     [http://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/guides/law/qglaw003.pdf]


Official Publications are items issued by an            has been purchased or where a publication
organisation that is an official body, and which are    appears on a reading list.
available to an audience wider than that body.
Official bodies include governments at state,           The library has sets of House of Commons
regional or local level; agencies or organisations      Sessional Papers (i.e. all Parliamentary Papers
dependent on or accountable to government;              from each Parliamentary Session, collected
courts and other judicial organs, and                   together chronologically by Session) for the
intergovernmental organisations. There are few          following years:
topics that are not covered by these bodies and
                                                           −   1731–1900 on microcard.
official publications are therefore an important
source of information.                                     −   1894–1980/81 printed papers.
The Official Publications Collection is based in the       −   1981/82 to 2008/09 on microfiche.
Taylor Library and European Documentation
Centre, one of the site libraries of Aberdeen           The Sessional Papers on microcard and print have
University Library. This fact sheet serves as an        been moved into store. They will still be available
introduction to the collection. A floor plan showing    for consultation and loan. Items can be retrieved
the location of each section of the collection is on    via the Online Public Access Catalogue.
display near the entrance to the Taylor Library &
EDC. The map is also accessible on the Internet         All House of Commons papers from 1684-
http://www.abdn.ac.uk/library/guides/gi/gi18_tay        2004 are available in electronic format on the
lor.pdf                                                 Chadwyck Healey Parliamentary Papers Database
                                                        at http://parlipapers.chadwyck.co.uk/home.do.
The Official Publications collection in Aberdeen        From 2006/07 session all House of Commons,
University Library consists of 4 main collections:      House of Lords and Scottish Parliamentary
                                                        materials are available on the Public Information
   −   UK Official Publications                         Online database at
                                                        www.publicinformationonline.com/
   −    Scottish Parliamentary and Scottish
       Government Publications
                                                        In addition to the Command Papers included in
   −   European Documentation Centre                    the House of Commons Sessional Papers, there is
                                                        a set of unbound Command Papers, beginning
   −    OECD Collection (Organisation for
                                                        with Cmnd 3167; from Cmnd 9624 these
       Economic Co-operation and Development)
                                                        papers have been bought only selectively.
In addition, there are major holdings of:
                                                        Use the Index to the House of Commons
   −   Census Reports                                   Parliamentary Papers on CD–ROM to find items in
                                                        the Sessional Papers or use the search or browse
   −    Reports of the Registrar General for
                                                        function in the Parliamentary Papers database.
       England and Wales, Scotland and Northern
       Ireland
                                                        British Parliamentary Papers 1800–1899 is a
   −    Reports and Studies from the Office of          collection of selected House of Commons Papers
       National Statistics                              and Command Papers published by the Irish
                                                        University Press. The collection is arranged
as well as smaller collections of publications of the
                                                        chronologically by subject.
Irish Parliament, the League of Nations and
the United Nations.                                     Use the Checklist of British Parliamentary Papers
                                                        1801–1899 to find material in this collection.
UK Official Publications
UK Official Publications can be divided into            House of Lords
Parliamentary Papers and Non–Parliamentary Papers.         −    House of Lords manuscript minutes,
                                                               committee books and voting records 1620–
Parliamentary Papers                                           1714 (on microfilm).
N.B. Parliamentary papers are not usually listed in        −    House of Lords Sessional Papers 1714–
the library catalogue except where a second copy               1805 (Oceana reprint).
   −    House of Lords Sessional Papers 1894–             the first surviving act of 1235 to the union of
       1934/35, 1962/63-                                  1707 available at www.rps.ac.uk/
Use the House of Lords Sessional Indexes or               Historical Parliamentary Material
HMSO and TSO catalogues to trace House of                 The Parliament website www.parliament.uk
Lords papers.                                             includes a list with links to “Digitised Historical
Parliamentary Debates                                     Parliamentary Material “of official series which
                                                          have been digitised and made available on the
   −    Parliamentary debates of the House of
                                                          Internet. These include House of Commons and
       Commons, House of Lords (commonly
                                                          Lords Journals, Debates, Papers, Private and Local
       known as Hansard) and the Parliamentary
                                                          Acts, and House of Lords Judgments.
       History cover the period from 1066 to the
       present.                                           Non-Parliamentary Publications
   −    Debates of the Standing Committees of the         Government bodies and departments publish a
       House of Commons 1966/67 to 2006/07                large number of reports, policy documents,
                                                          surveys and statistical publications that are
Contemporary Hansard, including content going             outwith the Parliamentary Papers series.
back to 1988 in the House of Commons and 1995             Purchased selectively, all are listed on the
in the House of Lords, can be traced on the               Library’s Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).
Parliament web pages at www.parliament.uk.                Non–Parliamentary publications are published
A test Hansard database covering the period 1803          either by the government departments/bodies or
– 2005 is available at                                    by the Stationery Office. Although some Statutory
http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/                       Instruments (SIs) are still laid before Parliament
                                                          they are no longer considered to be part of the
Parliamentary Journals                                    Parliamentary Publications sequence.
   −   House of Commons Journal 1547 to date.
                                                          The library holds:
   −   House of Lords Journal 1509 to date.
                                                             −    Statutory Rules & Orders and Statutory
Use the Journal decennial indexes to find material               Instruments revised to December 1903 v.1–
in the Journals.                                                 12.

Reports from Committees                                      −    Statutory Rules & Orders and Statutory
   −    Reports from Committees of the House of                  Instruments revised to 1948 v.1–25.
       Commons 1715–1802.                                    −    Statutory Instruments 1953, 1956–2000.
Acts                                                             Annual bound volumes.

   −    Acts of the Parliament of Scotland 1124–          Use the HMSO and TSO catalogues or TSO
       1707.                                              Bookshop to trace government documents.

   −    Public and General Acts: Statutes of the          OPSI also provides links to full text UK Statutory
       Realm 1066–1713, Statutes at Large 1225–           Instruments from 1987 onwards and to all SIs of
       1800, Public General Statutes 1797 to date.        the Scottish Parliament.

   −   Local and Private Acts 1797 to date.               Scottish Parliamentary Publications
   −    The Office of Public Sector Information           From the opening of the Scottish Parliament in
       (OPSI) website at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/          1999 until 2009 the Library received copies of
       provides links to html and pdf versions of         most of the publications issued. These incude:
       all legislation from 1988 to date and, where          −    Bills including explanatory notes, other
       it is available, to pdf files of legislation              accompanying documents, and policy
       between 1837 and 1987. It also includes                   memoranda Minutes of Proceedings 1999 to
       revised legislation of the Scottish                       June 2001 (from 2001- available on the
       Parliament 1424-1707, the English                         Internet at www.scottish.parliament.uk).
       Parliament 1267-1706, the Acts of the
       Parliament of Great Britain: 1707 – 1800              −   Official Report: Meeting of the Parliament.
       and the UK Acts 1801-1987.                            −   Official Report: Committees Official Report:
The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland                       Written Answers Scottish Parliament Papers
(RPS) is a fully searchable database containing              −    Acts of the Scottish Parliament 1999 to
the proceedings of the Scottish parliament from                  date.



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Use the Parliament website at                             OECD Collection
www.scottish.parliament.uk to trace material              The Organisation for Economic Co-operation
published by the Scottish Parliament.                     and Development is a Paris–based organisation
From Session 3 2007 onwards all Scottish                  of 30 member countries. Its aim is to promote
Parliament material is available in full text from        social and economic welfare throughout the OECD
the Public Information Online Database at                 area by co–coordinating members’ policies and to
www.publicinformationonline.com/                          contribute to the world economy by stimulating
                                                          interest in developing countries. The Library has
Scottish Executive Publications                           an extensive print collection of OECD documents
                                                          from 1961 to 2003. All the reports and studies in
The Library has an extensive collection of
                                                          the print OECD collection are listed on the OPAC.
documents published by the Scottish Executive
                                                          From 2004 all OECD books, periodicals and
(also referred to as the Scottish Government)
                                                          statistical data are available in electronic format
since 1999. These are all listed on the OPAC.
                                                          only via the SourceOECD database at
Use the search engine on the Executive website            www.sourceoecd.org/. Further information about
www.scotland.gov.uk/ to trace material published          SourceOECD is available from the Library e–book
by the Executive.                                         pages www.abdn.ac.uk/library/e-books.shtml
                                                          Whether in print or electronic format, the OECD
European Documentation Centre                             publications are an important source of recent,
Aberdeen University Library was designated as a           reliable, comparative data. Whilst sharing the
European Documentation Centre (EDC) in                    fundamental orientation – economics – the
1973, but the collection dates back to 1952 and           publications cover all aspects of the OECD’s work
the founding of the first European Community. As          including agriculture, development and aid,
a selective EDC, it receives all of the main              economics, education, energy, environment,
publications of the European Union together with          trade, health, labour markets, science and
a selection of official publications related to the       technology and taxation.
University’s main research interests.
The collection includes the following titles:             Census Reports
                                                          Every ten years since 1801, apart from 1941,
   −    Official Journal of the European
                                                          officials have conducted a census of the United
       Communities L, C and S series.
                                                          Kingdom population. The Library has most of the
   −    COM documents (Commission working                 published British census reports from 1801 to
       documents).                                        2001.

   −   European Parliament debates and reports.              −   Great Britain 1801–1851.

   −   European Court Reports.                               −   England & Wales 1861–

   −   Eurostat publications.                                −    Scotland 1831– (including the 1851 census
                                                                 of religious worship & education).
In addition we receive numerous reports, studies
and background papers. Much of the material                  −   Northern Ireland 1961– 1991.
from the European Commission is received as
                                                             −   Ireland 1841-1911.
electronic documents or on microfiche. EC
legislation and documents relating to the                 Until 1911 census reports were published as
legislative and judicial process are only included        Command Papers. 19th century census reports
on the OPAC where there is a second copy or               are also published in the British Parliamentary
where a document appears on a reading list. The           Papers 1801-1899 and in the sessional papers on
reports and studies are included on the OPAC. The         microcard.
EDC also houses the Socrates Library of
                                                          Use the Parliamentary Papers Database for 19th
calendars, prospectuses and handbooks from
                                                          and early 20thC census. Online Historical
partner institutions of Aberdeen University.
                                                          Population Reports (OHPR) provides online access
All EU official documents and legislation can be          to population reports for Britain and Ireland from
traced and accessed via the Europa website                1801 to 1937 at
http://europa.eu. The EDC also has a collection of        www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/program
printed indexes; A–Z Index of Cases, Indexes to           me_digitisation/project_historical_census.aspx.
the Official Journal, Publications, Documents
which can assist in a search for EU information.


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www.census.ac.uk provides a one stop gateway to           NB Diospoireachtai parlaiminte: Dail Eireann:
data and support services which allow users and           tuarisc ofigiuil and Diosboireachtai parlaiminte:
researchers in UK Higher and Further Education to         Seanad Eireann: tuairisc oifigiuil have been
access the 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001 UK                   moved into store. They will still be available for
censuses. It also provides access to other                consultation and loan. Items can be retrieved via
important census related resources.                       the Online Public Access Catalogue.
                                                          League of Nations
Reports of the Registrar General
                                                          Treaty Series 1920-1946.
   −    Annual report of the Registrar General of
       births, deaths and marriages in England
                                                          United Nations
       1840–1854; 1898-1920 (microfilm).
                                                             −   UN Treaty Series v.1–1420, 1946–1986.
   −    Registrar-General’s statistical review
       England & Wales 1921–1965 (microfilm);                −   UN General Assembly 1950/51-1986.
       1940–1973.                                            −   UN Resolutions 1946–1986.
   −    Annual report of the Registrar General for           −   UN Key Resolutions 1946–1996.
       Scotland 1938,1944, 1951, 1960–1988.
                                                             −   UN Document Index 1950–1982.
   −    Annual report of the Registrar General for
       Northern Ireland 1971–1991, 1998.                     −   UN Security Council 1946–1966.

Early reports and their appendices can be found              −    UN Conference on Trade and Development
on the full text Parliamentary Papers database.                  1975–1986.
Current reports are available on the Internet             Other UN titles including the Yearbook of the
                                                          United Nations and UN Statistical Yearbook are
UK Statistics Authority (formerly Office                  shelved on Floor 1 of Queen Mother Library.
of National Statistics Office of Population
Censuses and Surveys)                                     The Official Document System (ODS) website
                                                          www.un.org/documents/ covers all official UN
Reports include the series of statistics previously       documentation from 1993 onwards. It also
published in the Registrar General’s statistical          provides access to resolutions of the General,
review e.g. Abortion Statistics, Births, Marriages        Security and Economic and Social Councils from
and Divorce, Electoral Statistics, Migration              1946 onwards.
Statistics, Mortality Statistics, Population
Statistics, etc. These reports are listed on the          All treaty information is available from the UN
OPAC.                                                     Treaty database at http://untreaty.un.org/.

Check the OPAC for ONS and OPCS series shelved            If you have any problems tracing official
at Medical School Library and the Queen Mother            publications please contact the Official Publications
Library. Current volumes are available in full text       Librarian Liz Mackie or Alison Steed, Principal
from the Virtual Bookshelf at                             Information Assistant, at the dedicated OP help
www.statistics.gov.uk/                                    desk on the upper floor of the Taylor Library

Irish Parliament                                          Library Contacts
   −    Journal of the House of Commons of the            Liz Mackie
       Kingdom of Ireland 1613–1789.                      E–mail: e.a.mackie@abdn.ac.uk

   −    Diospoireachtai parlaiminte: Dail Eireann:        Alison Steed
       tuarisc ofigiuil 1–300, 1922–1977; 305–            E–mail: a.steed@abdn.ac.uk
       327, 1978–81; 335–372, 1982–87.
   −    Diosboireachtai parlaiminte: Seanad
       Eireann: tuairisc oifigiuil 1, 1923; 3–7,
       1924–26; 58–90, 1964–1978; 93–107,
       1979–1985.




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