The Commons Library and its research service

The House of Commons Library provides impartial information and research services for Members of Parliament and their staff in support of their parliamentary duties.

One of the main products of the Library is the research briefings which are published to the parliamentary website. These briefing papers offer an independent summary of facts on subjects of interest, particularly legislation proceeding through Parliament.

The Library also includes the collection of documents, known as deposited papers, which MPs and ministers place in the Library in reply to parliamentary questions.

This is a full-day event for librarians and information officers that includes: talks and presentations by Library staff, a short tour of Parliament and an opportunity to see the Members’ Library.

The Commons Library produces research briefings which provide in-depth and impartial analysis of all major pieces of legislation, as well as many areas of policy, or cover frequently asked questions and topical issues.

These papers are published to the Parliament website and are available to MPs and to members of the public.

Research by subject

Research relating to Parliament and constitution

The three pages offer links to documents and reports that relate to the Business being held in the House of Commons Chamber and in Westminster Hall.

The pages will include relevant Commons Library briefings, Committee reports, POST notes as well as documents produced by government departments or other agencies.

Deposited papers are placed in either the House of Commons or the House of Lords Library by a minister or the Speaker. The majority of papers are placed by ministers in reply to parliamentary questions.

Accessing Deposited papers

There is a  public facing database which includes records of each deposited paper from 1987 onwards with digital versions from 2007. Documents received before this date are only available in hard copy and need to be viewed in the Reading Room in the Parliamentary Archives.

There are a number of photos of the inside of the Commons Library as well as a virtual tour.

The House of Commons Library offers a confidential, tailored and impartial enquiry service to Members of Parliament and their staff in support of their parliamentary duties. This includes the provision of reading rooms, a library loans service, and face-to-face enquiry points.

The House of Commons Library provides Members and their staff with access to a range of resources:


The Library arranges various training sessions for key products which MPs and their staff are able to access via the website or intranet. This includes training to use online databases and subscriptions which may be beneficial to constituency caseworkers.

Book loans

The book loans service can lend books from the Library’s collection or obtain a copy of a book from outside libraries on inter-library loan.

Library talks

These are a series of topical talks by Commons Library subject specialists and by external speakers.

Contact information

Commons Library

We provide MPs and their staff with impartial briefings to support their work in scrutinising Government, proposing legislation, and supporting constituents.

The Library's publicly available briefings are available on the website and if you wish to offer feedback, please contact:

Enquiry service

House of Commons Enquiry Service

The Commons Enquiry Service takes phone and email enquiries about the work of the House or about the House of Commons Library.

Feature publication

Serjeant at Arms

The Library's commemorative publication for the 600th anniversary since the appointment of the first Serjeant-at-Arms.


Previous feature publications

Key issues for the New Parliament

These briefings were prepared by Commons Library researchers for Members of the new Parliament and include analysis on a range of subjects.

This book has been published by the Commons Library and tells the story of social and economic change in the UK since the two previous London Games in 1908 and 1948.