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Hansard: The Ear of History

Hansard is the official daily record of what is said in the parliamentary chambers, including votes, written statements and written answers to parliamentary questions.

Today a team of 34 in the House of Lords and of 90 in the House of Commons, publish reports of proceedings online the same day and in print by 7.30am the following morning.

Two esteemed Hansard editors, Lorraine Sutherland and John Vice, will describe the role of Hansard and the fascinating history of parliamentary reporting. They will explore its origins in ancient Egypt and Rome, its growth during the English Civil War and the centuries when Parliament made it illegal to publish parliamentary reports, and explain the birth of Hansard and the creation of an Official Report in the early 20th century.

Illustrating the journey with memorable moments, great speeches and the work of notable parliamentary reporters including Samuel Johnson and Charles Dickens. They will also look to the future of parliamentary reporting in the 21st century.

Presented in partnership with Hansard.

This Festival of Freedoms event aligns with the Wilkes: Freedom of Speech in Parliament banner from ‘The Beginnings of that Freedome' exhibition in Westminster Hall.


This event is free of charge, but please book your place.
If you have any questions, please contact

Find out about the Festival of Freedoms programme


2015: Parliament in the Making

Join Parliament as we commemorate a series of major anniversaries in 2015: 750 years since De Montfort Parliament and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta.