Government publications

Government publications are primary sources of information for many subject areas. The Library holds a number and range of government publications which are integrated with the rest of the book stock according to subject matter. This guide will help you trace primarily UK Government publications.


Finding government publications
Finding individual types of publication
Government department publications
Statistical publications
News stories
Useful internet sites

Finding government publications

  • Library Catalogue: the Catalogue gives details of all our holdings and can be accessed from on or off campus. Use the title or keyword (words from titles) search if you have details of a publication. If you are unsure of the exact title use keyword search
  • UK Government Web site: provides access to a range of government information and publications
  • UK Parliament website: the UK parliament publishes a range of government information and many of these publications are available online from this site
  • The Stationery Office (TSO) publish many UK government publications. The Office also acts as an agent for some European and International organisations. Search the Stationary Office online catalogue for publication details.

Finding individual types of publication

Acts of Parliament (Statutes)

  • LexisLibrary: this online law database provides the full text of Acts as well as other legal material.
  • Westlaw: this online law database provides the full text of Acts as well as other legal material.
  • Current Law Statutes: this is a multi-volume set, arranged by date, which provides the full text of Acts. It is held in the Library at 348.02
  • Acts of the UK Parliament provides full text of Acts from 1988, and some limited numbers from 1837 onwards. ( NB it does not provide subsequent amendments)
  • Acts of the Scottish Parliament provides full text of Acts from 1999.


  • Parliament Bills web site provides access to the full text of Bills currently before Parliament, details of draft Bills and Bills from previous sessions
  • The Weekly Information Bulletin  provides access to bibliographic details about Bills from 1996 onwards. It provides complete lists of public bills and their progress through Parliament
  • See the Hansards section below to find information on debates on Bills.

Command Papers

Consultation Documents and Papers

  • The Library holds a number of consultation documents or papers. A keyword search on the Library Catalogue for consultation document and your chosen topic, e.g 'planning consultation documents' will find all relevant items. To ensure you find all relevant items, do an additional search for 'planning consultation paper'
  • White Papers and Green Papers : are available online from the UK Government's Publications website.

Green Papers - see Consultation Documents and Papers


  • Hansards are the daily debates from Parliament.
  • Publications and Records section of the Parliament website contains both Commons Hansard and Lords Hansard
  • Older Hansard records, from 1803 to 2005, are available on Historic Hansard website.

Law Commission Reports

  • The Library holds a number of reports and papers:
    Use the Library Catalogue to find details of our holdings, eg an author search on 'law commission' will find all publications, use keywords for reports on a particular subject.
  • The Law Commission web site contains summaries and full text of all recent reports and consultation papers.

Select Committees

Statutory Instruments

  • Statutory Instruments (SIs) are government orders or regulations made by a Minister under the authority of a specific Act
  • The Statutory Instruments web site provides access to the full text of (SIs) since 1997, arranged by year and SI number. Use the search engine to find SIs on a particular topic.

White Papers - see Consultation Documents and Papers

Government department publications

The Library holds many publications by different government departments.

  • The Library Catalogue provides details of our holdings e.g. an author search, 'Department of Health', will give details of all publications published by them. An author and keyword search on the catalogue will find publications on a topic published by a particular Department eg 'Department of Health' and 'special needs'
  • UK Government Web site provides links to government departments which can provide a range of useful information, e.g. publications (details or full text), statistical information, links to other useful sites
  • Whitaker's Almanac at QR 052 WHI (in quick reference) details all government depts with addresses and contacts.

Statistical publications

  • The Library houses a separate collection of statistics at Headington and Wheatley. Use the Library Catalogue to find our holdings. Use the keyword search option on the Catalogue, eg 'morbidity statistics'
  • The Library guides : British Statistical Data and International Statistical Data will help you trace statistical information in the Library's collection, including relevant internet sources
  • UK National Statistics web site provides details of the range of publications produced by government and gives access to a range of statistics.
  • News stories

    • Newspapers can provide relevant, up-to-date information on government issues, policies, reports and legislation. The Library's News and current affairs guide helps you trace information from newspapers.
    • LexisLibrary offers full text access to all the main UK daily newspapers.
    • Factiva is an international news database providing an archive of 10000 sources from 152 countries in 22 languages.

    Useful internet sites

    • Europa: the official web site of the European Union includes news, official documents, statistics
    • Home Office: provides access to a range of information and publications
    • Welsh Government: includes news, press releases, who's who, legislation
    • Northern Ireland Office online: news, press releases, topics, links
    • UK National Statistics : includes access to a range of statistics
    • Scottish Parliament: news, MSPs, publications
    • The Stationery Office: includes access to a catalogue of their publications
    • UK Government web site: provides access to a wide range of government information; search by organisation or topic
    • UK Official Documents: provides access to Command Papers, House of Commons Papers and key Departmental Papers from May 2005, with a selection of older papers also available
    • UK Parliament: includes many parliamentary publications, information about how parliament works, directory of MPs and details of committees. Select 'Parliamentary Publications and Archives' to access Acts, Bills, Hansards and Consultation Documents
    • United Nations: includes topics, documents, publications.




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