Online Parliamentary Archives catalogue

Updated and revised 24 June 2009


The Parliamentary Archives’ catalogue, Portcullis, is now available online at  The database contains descriptions of over 3 million items and it enables users across the world to search for details of records of Parliament back to 1497.

Portcullis contains descriptions of all the catalogued collections, including details of closed records which can be requested under Freedom of Information.

What does the catalogue include?

Records of the House of Lords (HL)

Accountant’s Office – HL/AC
Black Rod’s Department – HL/BR
Clerk Assistant – HL/PO/CA
Clerk of the Parliaments’ Office – HL/PO/CP
Committee Office (including select committees) – HL/PO/CO
Domestic Committees HL/PO/DC
Establishment Office – HL/PO/EO
Internal Auditor – HL/PO/IA
Journal Office (including ‘main papers’)– HL/PO/JO
Judicial Office (including appeal judgments and evidence) – HL/PO/JU
Library – HL/PO/LB
Official Report from 1909 (Hansard) – HL/PO/OF
Parliament Office – HL/PO
Privilege Committee (including peerage claims) – HL/PO/DC/CP
Public Bill Office (including all acts, and bill files) – HL/PO/PU
Private Bill Office (including all acts, plans, bill files and evidence) – HL/PO/PB
Reading Clerk – HL/PO/RC
Parliamentary Archives – HL/PO/RO
Refreshment Dept – HL/PO/RF

Records of the House of Commons (HC)

Serjeant at Arms Department – HC/SA
Speaker’s Office – HC/SO
Chairman of Ways and Means – HC/CL/WM
Clerk of the House – HC/CL/CH
Clerk Assistant – HC/CL/CA
Committee Office (including Select Committees) – HC/CL/CO
Commons Commission – HC/COM
European Scrutiny Committee – HC/CL/EU
Journal Office – HC/CL/JO
Library (including manuscript collections) – HC/LB
Official Report from 1909 (Hansard) – HC/OF
Overseas Office – HC/CL/OO
Public Bill Office (including bill files) – HC/CL/PU
Private Bill Office (including deposited plans, evidence and bill files) – HC/CL/PB

Parliamentary Collections

Exchequer Chief Usher (ECU)
Lord Great Chamberlain (LGC)
Group for Parliamentary World Government (PWG)
Scottish Roads and Bridges Commission (SC)
Society of Clerks at the Table (SCT)
Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP)
Association of Lieutenants of Counties (ALC)
Statute Law Commission (SLC)
Clerk of the Crown (CC)
Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)
Leader of the House of Lords (LH)
Parliamentary Works Office (PWO)

Non Parliamentary Collections

The principal collections are:

Architecutural Archive (ARC)
Charles Barry Papers (BAR)
Beaverbrook Papers (BBK)
Bonar Law Papers (BL)
Braye manuscripts (BRY)
Britain in Europe (BIE)
Forests and Commons Preservation Society records (FCP)
Hansards to 1909 (HAN)
Lloyd George Papers (LG)
Picture Library (PIC)
Photographs of MPs (PHO)
Pugin Papers (PUG)
Herbert Samuel Papers (SAM)
John St Loe Strachey Papers (STR).

Reference Books

A catalogue of reference books available in the Archives’ searchroom is also available on Portcullis (BOOK).

What isn’t included?

  • transcripts of records themselves or digital images of records.
  • an index of Parliamentary speeches – these can be found on the Hansard website
  • House of Commons sessional papers