Lords of the Blog is now one year old. Today marks the start of our second year.
However, we are a mere stripling compared with the Official Report (Hansard). It is celebrating its 100th birthday as an official publication.
Some form of report of parliamentary debates was published from 1803 onwards, but they were not official publications. The name ‘Hansard’ derives from the Hansard family who published reports as a private concern. Only in 1909 was it decided that Parliament itself should take over the publication and so both Houses began publishing Official Reports: in essence, the near-verbatim record of proceedings with which we are now familiar. Although the report has continued to be referred to as ‘Hansard’, it was only in 1943 that the name was brought back in a semi-official capacity and published on the cover of each issue.
There will be a special publication – a 500-page collection of important speeches, with commentary – to mark the anniversary. It will published by The Stationery Office on 2 April.