How do I find Parliamentary debates on Northern Ireland?
June 5, 2007 3:29 PM   Subscribe

GoogleFuFailureFilter: I am looking for free transcripts of UK (Westminster) Parliamentary debates for around 1969-1980. Specifically, I'm looking for discussions about Northern Ireland. Astonishingly, I can't find them after a full day of looking, not even on the Westminster website, which seems only to go back as far as 1988. How is this possible? Help!
posted by walla to Law & Government (11 answers total)
How is this possible? It is extremely unlikely that the debates from 1969 were put into some sort of electronic form that could be easily put on the web. Someone would have to pay for this to be done, and too few people have been interested to make it worthwhile yet.

You are almost certainly going to go offline for this. If there is a major research library nearby, contact the reference librarian to ask for help.

Where are you located?
posted by grouse at 4:02 PM on June 5, 2007

If they're not available via Hansard, you're probably SOL. The Parliament website suggests that local libraries have (or can request) information prior to 1988, but if you're outside the UK, that's probably not going to help much. The records are indexed, so if you are in the UK, it might be worth checking with your nearest big city reference library to see if they have records available for you to browse. You can then make a list of the volumes that you wish to request at your local branch.
posted by Jakey at 4:03 PM on June 5, 2007

Hansard is the name of the transcription of the debates, not the web site, and dates back to the early 19th century. They are certainly available in major libraries in the U.S.
posted by grouse at 4:29 PM on June 5, 2007

Echoing the previous comments. It doesn't appear that UK Parliamentary debates for 1969-80 are available online. I ran a quick check in Lexis and Westlaw and they don't seem to be there, either.

If you're outside the UK, your best option is an academic law library. If you're in the UK, a public library might also have this material.
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:57 PM on June 5, 2007

The library at my university, here in the distant wilds of Australia, has the UK parliamentary debates from around 1920 onwards. My previous university library in a more civilized part of Australia had them going back to the 19th century. I would be surprised if you couldn't find what you're looking for in any decent unviersity library.
posted by Jimbob at 5:01 PM on June 5, 2007

Have you tried CAIN? I haven't looked at it for a while, but they have a number of databases and information regarding the conflict. FWIW
posted by B-squared at 5:51 PM on June 5, 2007

Is this what you need?
posted by oneirodynia at 5:56 PM on June 5, 2007

Ah, wrong time frame, sorry.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:57 PM on June 5, 2007

Oh, and wrong Parliament. Wow, my reading comprehension sucks.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:59 PM on June 5, 2007

This is the direct source for what you need - the UK Parliamentary archives - although as others have said, there are likely to be copies of Hansard in libraries elsewhere. The archives can send you copies of records, assuming you know what you want and can track them down in the catalogue. If you need to browse them first, you'll be stuck with a library as others have said - see here for some tips.
posted by greycap at 11:21 PM on June 5, 2007

Response by poster: I guess there are some things that are still not online! Apparently I will have to go to an actual, physical library. Thanks everyone!
posted by walla at 7:58 AM on June 6, 2007

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