Help with Searching

Browsing and Searching

Access the collections in the database using either the Browse function or the Search function


The Browse function on the left-hand side of the home page features a list of the Senate and House of Commons collections that are available. Click on a collection to drill down to a specific volume in a given parliament, session or year. Select a volume to view and search that volume.

To search the selected volume, click on the magnifying glass icon ("Show/hide full-text search") beneath the image viewer. Enter keywords in the text box and click "Search." A list of pages that contain the search term(s) will appear below the search box. Click on any page to view it.


Use the Search function on the right-hand side of the home page to query the full-text content of collection. Narrow your search by: selecting or deselecting publication types from various options; using the drop-down menus to limit your search by chamber, parliament and language; or entering a date range.

Search terms are not case- or accent-sensitive; searching for Fran├žais or for francais will produce the same result.

Use the following features to refine your search:

Wildcards: ? and *

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

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

Phrases: " "

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

  • To find documents that contain the phrase "Quebec City" and not just the individual words Quebec and city, enter: "quebec city"

Excluded terms: -

To exclude a word or phrase from your search, add a - (hyphen or minus sign) before the word or phrase. For example:

  • To find documents that contain Paris but not France, enter: paris -france

Alternative terms: |

To match any one of a number of alternative terms, insert a | (vertical line) between them. For example:

Interpreting search results

When all of the keywords used in the search appear in the same image (or on the same page in a volume), all corresponding images will appear below the volume title. If the keywords searched do not all appear in the same image, the message "No matching images found" will appear below the volume title.

Sort search results

By default, search results are presented in order of relevance based on the search terms used. The search results page gives the option to re-sort results by newest (descending) or oldest (ascending) item.

Image viewer

After you open a volume, use the upper toolbar to select and view an image (or page), scroll through the volume, rotate an image left or right, or zoom in on or out of the image. Use the bottom toolbar to search within the volume, open the image in a new tab, download full-size image in JPG format, download a single image or the full document in PDF, or switch to fullscreen mode.


You can download from all collections: a single image (or page) in PDF and JPG format, as well as an entire volume in PDF format.

If you need more help

Please send your questions or comments to

We welcome your feedback about any difficulties you may have experienced while using Canadian Parliamentary Historical Resources. Your help improving users' experience with this collection is invaluable.