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Official Publications: Archive Collections

Online guidance on finding official publications

A selection of large official publications digital archives are flagged here.

You can use A-Z Databases list. to view and access all the Official publications online databases

You may also find it useful to explore the Primary Resources Libguide where you can browse all the resources by country, time period and theme.


U.K. Parliamentary Papers is a searchable full-text database of the entire collection of 18th 19th and 20th century House of Commons Parliamentary Papers.

Contains over 200,000 House of Commons Sessional Papers, including Bills, House of Commons Papers, and Command Papers from 1715 to 2005, with supplementary material back to 1688. 

Includes access to Hansard parliamentary debates 1803-2005.


State Papers Online is an online archive of British State Papers from the 16th through the 18th centuries. 

As the official records of the Secretaries of State serving the ruling monarch of the day, the State Papers contain correspondence, reports, memoranda, Parliamentary drafts, and depositions from ambassadors, civil servants, and provincial administrators on almost every subject. 

The State Papers are searched via their full-text searchable Calendars, which are chronological records that identify, number, and briefly summarize the manuscripts as compiled by various editors.

Access is available to the following parts of the State Papers Online Service. 

- Parts I & II: The Tudors, 1509-1603: Henry VIII- Elizabeth I

- Part III & IV: The Stuarts and Commonwealth, James I - Anne I, 1603-1714:

- Eighteenth Century Parts I-IV: 1714-1782, papers domestic and foreign

East India Company offers access to a unique collection of India Office Records from the British Library, London.

Containing royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings and reports of expeditions, among other document types, this resource charts the history of British trade and rule in the Indian subcontinent and beyond from 1595 to 1947.

For full instructions on how to navigate and use East India Company, refer to the online user’s guide.

A useful feature is the detailed chronology of key events in the Indian subcontinent and the wider Asian trading world from 1600 to 1947. Users can click on each entry in the chronology to bring up a list of the documents which have been tagged with the date of that entry. The chronology itself is also searchable.

This short video takes a behind the scenes look at the East India Company collection from Adam Matthew, created in partnership with the British Library.

If you are interested in US governmental information then you may wish to explore The Digital National Security Archive from Proquest.

The National Security Archive is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).. Its mission is to open previously secret government files that are important for historical research on U.S. foreign policy and America’s role in the world, provide context for current policy debates, and promote transparency and accountability in government.

The Digital National Security Archive is an  online collection of thousands of declassified records documenting historic U.S. policy decisions. DNSA provides authoritative access to the original documents—most of them formerly classified and previously unavailable—that underlie the crucial decisions facing US presidents. Researchers can directly access the documents that shaped presidential responses to policy issues.

Available Collections

The archive consists of numerous collections.  Those available to you through the University of Exeter include:

  • CIA Family Jewels Indexed
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis: 50th Anniversary Update
  • Japan and the United States: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, 1977–1992
  • Japan and the United States: Diplomatic, Security, and Economic Relations, Part III, 1961-2000
  • Presidential Directives on National Security, Part I: From Truman to Clinton
  • Presidential Directives on National Security, Part II: From Truman to George W. Bush
  • U.S. Intelligence and China: Collection, Analysis and Covert Action

Top Tip

Proquest Libguide for this resource is available to guide your searching.

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