Launch of the Northern Ireland Official Publications Archive Online


Following up from this post last year, the online archive of the Northern Ireland Official Publications Collection at Queen’s University was officially launched last week. Thanks to Norma Menabney of the NIOP Team for the following overview of this excellent resource:

“The Library at Queen’s University Belfast has historically played an important role in collecting Northern Ireland official publications and making them available to the research community and the wider public.

Print publications have been collected for many years under National Archives and earlier HMSO guidance that the Library should be treated as an official deposit library for Northern Ireland official publications. Since the formal cessation of print publication and move to electronic format (and in particular for the period of September 2015 onwards) the Library has focused on the creation of a digital archive of Northern Ireland official publications. The main focus of the work is to sustain the official publications collections for future generations.

The NIOPA team harvests documents from all Northern Ireland government official websites, adding monographs and serials to the archive for long term preservation using DSpace open source software. Associated document descriptions also enhance the ability of researchers to find the publications from a single source. With the full text search facility it is now possible to discover document content from the initial search query. As a result we are achieving a high search ranking within search engines such as Google. Our statistics and user feedback also tells us that content is being viewed internationally. Collection development guidelines for the archive have been agreed with the British Library and records and documents are supplied to the British Library to support its commitment to preserve digital works under the Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013.

Queen’s University’s status as an official deposit library for Northern Ireland official publications has enabled the Library to collect a wide range of Northern Ireland departmental publications in print and also includes a complete set of Parliamentary Papers for the Northern Ireland Parliament, along with Northern Ireland Assembly Papers for both the 1983-86 Assembly and the current Northern Ireland Assembly (1999 onwards).

The wider collection of the Library’s Official Publications includes an almost complete set of printed UK Parliamentary Papers from 1801 onwards along with selected copies of British and Irish departmental and agency publications along with more limited print collections of Council of Europe, Canadian, European Union, OECD and UN publications. The official publications collection in print consists of approximately 700 bays of print publications.

The Northern Ireland Official Publications Archive, (NIOPA) is available at

Steven Hartshorne

Secretary of SCOOP

Houses of Parliament courses available from FutureLearn

FutureLearn offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop.

Four interesting, free to access, online courses are available from the UK Parliament. You can sign up for email alerts to be alerted to course availability.

Introduction to the UK Parliament: People, Processes and Public ParticipationDate to be announced

UK Parliament Explored: Petitions. Date to be announced

UK Parliament Explored: the Work and Role of Select Committee. Available now

and Royal Holloway, University of London working with UK Parliament have produced:

Beyond the Ballot: Women’s Rights and Suffrage from 1866 to Today. Available now

Hannah Chandler, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford