Find official publications

Official publications are documents produced by organisations that may be considered official bodies and available to the public. They're important primary sources of information for many subjects, especially the social sciences, many sciences, and history.

This guide gives you an overview of key official publications resources and what material they include.

If you're new to official publications and want to know how they can support your studies: check out the legal information section in our Library Research Skills Moodle module.

British official publications

These are the publications of, or for, the government and its departments. The library has extensive holdings of British official publications in print and online.

Key databases

The University subscribes to the following resources on behalf of Kent students and staff:

  • Public Information Online: parliamentary and official documents from Westminster and the devolved governments; includes:
    • House of Commons Papers from 2006/7 session and selected earlier papers
    • House of Lords papers from 1901 to curren
    • command papers from 1835 onwards
    • original legislation and act’s explanatory notes from 1999 onwards
    • to access this resource: click Login through your Home Organisation (under Shibboleth, right column), type "Kent" in the search box and choose University of Kent, then login with your Kent IT account details
  • U.K. Parliamentary Papers:
    • 18th, 19th and 20th Century House of Commons Parliamentary Papers
    • House of Lords papers from 1800-1910
    • Hansard from 1803 to 2005
  • State Papers Online 1509-1714: British State Papers from 1509 to 1714; covers papers of the Secretaries of State from Henry VIII to Queen Anne
  • JustisOne: access original legislation from common law jurisdictions around the world and UK Legislation as enacted also includes law reports
  • Lexis®Library and Westlaw UK: both contain up-to-date legislation and law reports

Useful sites for government information

Many official publications are freely available online:

European Union publications

  • LibrarySearch: the Library has digital access to EU publications published since 1997; you can search for these by title 
  • Publications Office of the European Union: digital access to official information and data from the EU, including EUR-Lex, the EU Open Data Portal and EU publications
  • European Sources Online: keep up to date with the latest developments concerning Europe, its countries and regions, its communities and institutions; offers an expert selection of information on topics from a wide range of information sources and includes many links to full text


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