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New Resource


PIO is a web-based archive of searchable Parliamentary and Official documents. Includes Civil Service yearbook.


The University has recently subscribed to the Public Information Online (PIO) online service from Dandy Booksellers Ltd offering a wide range of official documents going back, in many cases, more than a century.


About Public Information Online (PIO)

This web based archive supports research across publications from the Westminster Parliament, Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly, Welsh Parliament (Senedd), Scottish Government and also key Non-Parliamentary material. It is ideal for researching current and archive. governmental documents on various topics. 

Full details of coverage are available on the PIO website.

To learn more about what to expect from PIO, take a look at this short introductory video or take a look through this product showcase article by Donna Ravenhill of Dandy Booksellers, which gives a a great overview of the content, together with some illustrative search examples.  


Civil Service Yearbook


The current version of the Civil Service Yearbook is available to search or browse via Public Information Online.



You can search for archive versions using the Advanced search screen, as illustrated below.


User support

Online help is available via the PIO help pages

If you need further support to make use of this resource for your study or research, please get in touch with your Liaison Librarian. 



You can also send feedback on this resource to your Liaison Librarian.  We’d be interested to hear how it has aided your study / research.


We are currently trialling this new online collection:

Decolonization: Politics and Independence in Former Colonial and Commonwealth Territories

This collection brings together material from within former British colonies and Commonwealth nations, alongside some from former French and Portuguese territories, to provide valuable primary source material created for local audiences by local actors during a period of enormous global change. After the Second World War decolonization movements around the world gathered pace, and from the small port colony of Aden to the vast Indian sub-continent, new borders were set and new nations built.

This recorded webinar explores this collection:

The trial runs from now until 17th February 2023.

As always, feedback on collections we are trialling is extremely appreciated. Please send your comments about this collection to (Subject Librarian for Archaeology and History).

This year, the Library has obtained access to hundreds of new digital archives, including the full collection from British Online Archives. These include new collections covering missionary, military, trade union, trade and political records including many collections covering the British Communist Party and some new collections on the East India Company. Overall, they offer a fantastic trove of resources for students and staff to explore. 

selection of British propaganda posters

Other notable recent acquisitions include the Royal Anthropological Institute Archive, and the archive of the Hindustan Times newspaper, which covers 1924-2010.

We have also updated our access to collections from Adam Matthew Digital: this includes the final part of the Mass Observation archives (covering the 2000's), a new archive on interwar culture and other new archives on Victorian film and the East India Company coming soon.

In addition, we have secured a deal with Gale Cengage to access a large number of their digital archives, maximising access for staff and students. These new archives include collections on China, Latin America, U.S. History, U.S. and U.K. declassified documents, political extremism and radicalism and the final part of the State Papers Online. Added to these are numerous newspaper archives, topping up existing access and adding access to the Picture Post magazine archive.


All new resources are available via our A-Z list, or you can browse by theme, time period or country on the Primary Sources Guide. Newspaper and magazine archives are listed on the News Archives Guide.

Ukraine flagDe Gruyter and publishing partners are offering free access until 30 June 2022 to selected ebook titles and journal articles to support research into the war in Ukraine and the history of Eastern European relations.

Materials are drawn from over 115 eBooks and 13 journals in fields such as:

  • European History
  • International Relations
  • Law
  • Modern History
  • Political Science
  • Slavic Literature
  • Sociology

Find out more about this initiative in the De Gruyter Newsletter or take a look at some of the Highlight Titles.

Explore legal material from the seventeenth century through the early twentieth century. 

Together, the distinct collections that comprise The Making of Modern Law cover nearly every aspect of American and British law and dig deep into the legal traditions of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and other jurisdictions, both classic and contemporary. Encompassing a range of analytical, theoretical, and practical literature, these collections support and complement the traditional study of law by featuring valuable books from the most influential legal writers throughout history.

A digital archive of monographs and periodicals on political economy, trade, finance, industry, business, labour, and related subjects. The archive supports research on critical topics, such as world trade, finance and capital formation, transportation and the growth of cities, industrialisation, imperialism and colonialism, socialism, labour and poverty, and other areas of study. This collection is of particular value to anyone with an interest in early twentieth century history, political science, philosophy, business and economic law, and women’s studies.

LGBT Thought and Culture is an online resource hosting the key works and archival documentation of LGBT political and social movements throughout the 20th century and into the present day. The collection contains rare archival content, including seminal texts, letters, periodicals, speeches, interviews, and ephemera. 




Key highlights include:

- The Pat Rocco Collection: Acquired from the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, this collection features ephemora and correspondence from gay rights organizer and filmmaker Pat Rocco, documenting his impact in Southern California and Hawaii in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Includes letters from SPREE (The Society of Pat Rocco Enlightened Enthusiasts)
- The Jeanne Cordova Papers: The collection offers ephemera documenting the 1970’s activism of editor Jeanne Cordova. It includes correspondence regarding her magazine The Lesbian Tide, and other letters that provide insight into her role as a leader for Los Angeles-based LGBT and feminist movements.
- The Magnus Hirschfeld Collection:  Including the professional correspondence, publications, confidential reports, news clippings, court documents, and other materials from renowned German sex researcher Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935).

A substantial archive of publications produced by the Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS), a unit operating within the United States CIA, from 1957-1995. The JPRS unit produced English translations of foreign-language monographs, reports, serials, journal and newspaper articles, and radio and television broadcasts from across the world, with a focus on communist and developing countries. These translations were produced for use by U.S government officials, U.S. agencies and research and industrial communities.

You can search across the entire collection:

This collection, curated in association with the National Archives (UK), provides an unparalleled insight into the political, economic, and military foundations of the post-war international order. The materials, which are diverse in nature, cover a wide range of subject matter, shedding light on the perspectives of various state and non-state actors during periods of both cooperation and conflict. The United Nations (UN)Marshall Plan, World BankInternational Monetary Fund (IMF)General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and European Economic Community (EEC), to name but a few examples, are all accounted for.  

As part of their response to COVID-19, British Online Archives (BOA) has provided the University of Exeter with free access to their entire database of digital primary resources for 30 days from 1st February.


Their website hosts over 4 million records drawn from both private and public archives. These records are organised thematically, covering 1,000 years of world history, and are of use to undergraduate students and experienced academics alike.


Themes include:



To access BOA, click on the access link below and login with your University username and password

Access Link: British Online Archives

Browse BOA’s 95 collections and read how they are trying to help those working and studying in Higher Education during the pandemic. BOA say that the free access initiative will be continually reviewed and extended month by month if feasible.


Watch the short video below to learn more about the structure and content of the archives

You can also use the Guide to Advanced Searching to assist with effective searching.

If you would like to know more or have any feedback, please contact your Liaison Librarian. 

We have short term trial access to the Making the Modern Law Series.  Access is available until 8th February.  

The series is made up of 7 primary source databases.  Find out more about these below and use the links for access.


The Making of Modern Law: American Civil Liberties Union Papers (Primary Sources)

Search the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) records on free speech, citizenship, race, discrimination, and other topics

The Making of Modern Law: Foreign Primary Sources, 1600-1970 (Primary Sources) -

Access four centuries of historic legal codes from northern, central, and eastern Europe.

The Making of Modern Law: Foreign, Comparative, and International Law, 1600-1926 (Primary Sources) -

Explore four centuries of full-text legal history from a global, interdisciplinary perspective.

The Making of Modern Law: Landmark Records and Briefs of the U.S. Courts of Appeals, 1950-1980 -

Discover frequently studied case histories from the U.S. courts of appeals.

The Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises, 1800-1926 (Primary Sources) -

Search this comprehensive collection of legal treatises on U.S. and British law published from 1800 through 1926.

The Making of Modern Law: Primary Sources, 1600-1970 (Primary Sources) -

Find state and municipal codes, documents relating to constitutional conventions, and other American legal history resources.

The Making of Modern Law: Trials, 1600-1926 (Primary Sources) -

Read through full-text documents from Anglo-American trials, including transcripts, printed accounts, arbitrations, and books.


Cross searching

It is also possible to cross search one or more of these databases using the enhanced Gale Primary Sources platform. 

Use this link for access and click on the Legal Studies limiter Just to add that we have recently updated the Gale Primary Sources platform homepage to include a Legal Studies limiter:


We'd be interested in your feedback on this trial.  If it would be useful for your teaching or research, please send your feedback to Lee Snook.

Field is required.