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Historical records

The Parliamentary Archives hold millions of historical records relating to both Houses of Parliament dating from 1497.

What's in the Archives?

The Archives' holdings include:

  • Official records of both Houses of Parliament, including Acts, Journals, Hansard, deposited plans and appeal cases.
  • Other collections relating to Parliament, including the papers of the Lord Great Chamberlain and the Lord President of the Council.
  • Collections of private political papers and records of political bodies and pressure groups.
  • Records about the Palace of Westminster, including the papers of architect Charles Barry.

Surviving the 1834 fire

A fire in 1834 destroyed most of the records of the House of Commons, so the bulk of records held on the Commons date from after 1834 (apart from a series of manuscript Journals and minutes that survived). Records of the House of Lords were undamaged and date back to 1497.

Government and Crown records

The Archives do not hold records of government departments or the Crown. These are held by the National Archives.

Contacting and visiting the Archives

Send enquiries and requests to the Archives by phone, email or post, but please check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page first.
Parliamentary Archives FAQ
Contact the Parliamentary Archives

The Archives is open to all members of the UK public and overseas visitors from Monday to Friday, 9.30-5pm.
Planning your visit to the Archives

Interested parties can search the Archives' online catalogue, Portcullis, in advance to check a record exists.
View Portcullis, the online catalogue