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House of Lords papers digitised by ProQuest and National Library of Scotland

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ProQuest has partnered with the National Library of Scotland to create the first digitised collection of 19th Century House of Lords Parliamentary Papers, providing online access to previously unseen and valuable historical documents.

Launching later this year, the project will allow those who are not able to access the documents in their physical form to broaden their research into this resource. Enhancing the growing corpus of historical papers that ProQuest have digitised – including the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers – this new collection will improve research outcomes for scholars of British history, British government, political science, history and more.

The papers encompass wide areas of social, political, economic and foreign policy, providing evidence of committees and commissions during a time when the Lords in the United Kingdom wielded considerable power. Most importantly from a legislative perspective, this collection will include many bills which originated and were subsequently rejected by the Lords – rich indicators of the direction and interests of the Lords that have been largely lost to researchers.
 
There are very few surviving copies of this important historical collection because of the way the documents were originally printed and stored.

The content has similar indexing and editorial controls to ProQuest’s House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, enabling it to be fully cross-searchable with the new House of Lords Parliamentary Papers (1800-1910). This new content will bring together a complete picture of the workings and influence of the Parliament of the United Kingdom during their pivotal role in 19th Century history.
 
Dr John Scally, Scotland’s National Librarian, said: 'More British Prime Ministers served in the Lords in the 19th century than in the House of Commons, despite the progressive dwindling of the influence of the upper chamber. This is a fascinating period in our history and digitisation will make these important papers available on any screen anytime, anywhere.  This partnership with ProQuest is part of our commitment to open up our collections to as many people as possible.'

Susan Bokern, vice president product management at ProQuest, added: 'The research value of the House of Lords Parliamentary Papers is of international significance. As an addition to ProQuest’s comprehensive and diverse collection of government databases, researchers are even more empowered to analyse global perspectives of key political outcomes of the 19th century and beyond.'