Help with Searching

Browsing and Searching

The collections in the database can be accessed using browse or search.


The Browse function is on the left-hand side of the home page. The Browse function can be accessed from the menu in the top right corner. Browse allows you to locate a specific volume in a given parliament and session. Once a volume is selected, you can view it and search further within it.

Once you have selected a volume, use the Search within this volume: search box located in the top left side of the viewer to search for keywords within the volume. A list of matching pages (listed as numbered images) that contain the search terms will appear below the search box. Click on each page in turn to view it (the list of matching pages for your search remains on the page while you view individual pages).


The Search function is on the right-hand side of the home page and allows for searching the full text content of the portal. By selecting or deselecting the various checkboxes or using the drop-down menus, you can search within specific types of publications, or narrow your search by chamber, parliament, language and date.

Search terms are not case- or accent-sensitive: searching for Français or for francais will produce the same result.

You can access the home page with both the Browse and Search functions by selecting the New Search option in the menu in the top right corner.

You can use the following features to refine searches:

Wildcards: ? and *

Use ? in the middle or at the end of a word to match any one character. Use * to match any number of characters (including zero). For example:

  • To find either defence or defense: defen?e
  • To find either labour or labor: labo*r

Phrases: " "

To search for an exact phrase, enclose all of the words in double quotes. You cannot use wildcards within a phrase. For example:

  • To find documents that contain the phrase quebec city and not just the individual terms quebec and city: "quebec city"

Excluded terms: -

Use - (a hyphen) in front of a word or phrase to indicate that the term must not appear in the record. For example:

  • To find documents that contain paris but not france: paris -france

Alternative terms: |

To match any one of a number of alternative terms, put a | between them. For example:

Sort Research Results

By default, search results are presented in order of relevance based on the search terms used. On your search results page, you can change the sort order to start with “newest” first or “oldest” first.

Page Viewer

Once you have selected a volume, use the functions of the page viewer to select a specific image number, to scroll through the volume, to rotate an image left or right, and to zoom in on or out of the page image.


If you want to share your search results, on your search results page you can copy the entire link in the address bar of your browser into an email.

Each volume also has its own permanent URL if you wish to bookmark it or share the link. You can find this link if you select the page viewer’s About tab, located to the right of the View tab.

To create a permanent link to a specific page of a publication, copy the URL found in your browser up to (but not including) the “?”. Paste this shortened link into an email or other document. This creates a direct link to the page.


Full volumes of the debates, journals and sessional papers can be downloaded, while single pages from committee documentation, bills, Senate Minutes of Proceedings, the Rules of the Senate, the House of Commons Votes and Proceedings, and the Standing Orders of the House of Commons can be downloaded.

If You Need More Help

You are welcome to report any difficulties you are experiencing with the portal. Your help in improving the quality of the Canadian Parliamentary Historical Resources portal is invaluable. Please direct any questions or comments to