EPPI Archive Guide
1. What is the background to this resource
EPPI contains a complete set of British Parliamentary Papers relating to Ireland and Irish affairs published during the period of the Act of Union (1801-1922). The documents were published under the authority of the UK House of Commons and bound together as volumes ('blue books') arranged by parliamentary session – usually a part of a calendar year, but occasionally covering parts of two calendar years. The documents include papers originating in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as reports of Royal Commissions of Inquiry and other .Command Papers. produced by thegovernment rather than parliament.
A number of sets of Parliamentary Papers were published for use in parliament, government offices and other repositories, but few complete sets are accessible to the public. In 2002-5 the original EPPI project, funded by AHRC and based at the University of Southampton, digitised the bulk of Irish-related papers and rendered them searchable over the web. The DIPPAM project has taken over the maintenance of the EPPI materials from Southampton, enhanced their usability and filled any gaps in the document run, made them cross-searchable with the IED and VMR records, and restored free global access to users.
2. What is the range and volume of material within this resource?
The completed EPPI archive contains over 14,000 documents containing over half a million pages of text originally published as UK parliamentary papers. All documents identified as relating to Ireland in the breviates and indexes of official publications have been included, incorporating materials on the Irish in Britain andreports of Emigration Commissioners on Irish migration overseas. EPPI includes all parliamentary bills (although not the final acts of parliament), reports and accounts from parliamentary committees and official bodies, reports and evidence of Royal Commissions of Inquiry, reports of the Census Commissioners, etc. It is an unrivalled source of statistical and qualitative evidence for the history of Irish society in the Union period, as well as for its political, religious and economic history. Although EPPI represents principally the official view of Ireland from Westminster and Dublin Castle, the sources are rich with testimony and correspondence collected or originating in Ireland or with the Irish overseas.
3. What historical period is covered by this resource?
All EPPI documents were published during the period 1801-1922, when Ireland formed part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, although some documents reproduce material dating from before the 1800 Act of Union.
4. What is the geographical coverage of material within this resource?
Principally Ireland, but with a number of documents relating to Irish emigration and settlement in Great Britain, British colonies such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the United States and elsewhere.
5. How can I search the material within this resource?
The EPPI archive contains image facsimiles of all the documents, which have been scanned using optical character recognition technology to make the texts electronically searchable. Where abstracts of documents exist as part of the breviates of parliamentary papers, these have been added to the site.
Users can search by keyword either the titles and abstracts of the documents, or the scanned full text files of the documents, and can restrict the search by setting year limits or specifying categories of documents.
Alternatively, users can browse documents by year of publication, or by the thematic categories in the Ford Breviates of parliamentary papers, or by Library of Congress Subject Headings.
6. How should EPPI documents be cited?
All EPPI documents are official publications, published by parliamentary authority in either London or Dublin (it is not necessary to give the place of publication in citation).
EPPI documents should be cited using the form listed on each bibliographic record, that is:
HC [for House of Commons] session year [as in 1809 or 1831-32], paper number [sessional papers should be placed in round brackets, as in (345), command papers in square brackets, with a prefix if required, as in  or [Cd.233]], volume number inroman numerals [as in xli]. starting page number in volume [as in .124].