State Papers Online, 1509-1714

Early British State Papers.

State Papers Online, 1509-1714, published in four seamless parts, offers researchers a groundbreaking online resource for understanding two hundred years of British and European history, from the reign of Henry VIII to the end of the reign of Queen Anne. The largest digital manuscript archive of its kind, State Papers Online, 1509-1714 gathers together sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British State Papers and links these rare historical manuscripts to their fully text-searchable calendars.

Queen Elizabeth I, 1586 © The British Library Board.
© British Library

State Papers Online, 1509-1714

This four-part collection of primarily Early Modern materials consists of:

  • Facsimile images of almost three million State Papers
  • Direct linking between the facsimile images of the manuscripts and their individual calendar entries
  • Hyperlinking between all references in the calendar indexes and the calendar entries
  • The Irish Manuscript Commission series of Calendars of State Papers Ireland
  • The manuscripts collections of Sir William Cecil (Lord Burghley) and his successor, Robert Burghley, from the National Archives and the British Library (Lansdowne Collection), as well as the complete twenty-four volumes of the Calendars of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House and the Haynes/Murdin transcriptions
An international resource

The global reach of the series offers researchers the scope to explore documents covering Britain's diplomatic relations and trade in Europe and with the Ottoman Empire, Russia, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Users can read letters from popes, cardinals and bishops, Holy Roman emperors, and the kings of France and Spain as well as rulers, diplomats, counselors, and agents from every other country in Europe. By providing little-studied volumes online, State Papers Online, 1509-1714 represents enormous potential for new research.

Who is it for?

State Papers Online, 1509-1714 is a core resource for any student or researcher studying and publishing in the following areas:

  • Early modern British and European history, including diplomacy, politics, society, culture, law, religion, kingship and queenship, exploration, travel and trade, and the early empire
  • Early modern literature
  • Renaissance and Reformation studies
  • Tudor and Stuart studies


State Papers Online, 1509-1714: Part I: The Tudors, Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, 1509-1603: State Papers Domestic

This collection delivers access to the official records of the secretaries of state serving the ruling monarch of the day, encompassing every facet of early modern government, including social and economic affairs, law and order, religious policy, crown possessions, and intelligence. Part I delivers the complete series of State Papers Domestic for the Tudor era.

State Papers Online, 1509-1714: Part II: The Tudors: Henry VIII to Elizabeth I, 1509-1603: State Papers Foreign: Ireland, Scotland, Borders and Registers of the Privy Council​

This collection contains State Papers Foreign, Scotland, Borders, and Ireland together with the Registers (Minutes) of the Privy Council for the sixteenth century. These documents record the relationship between England and the rest of Europe, as well as the relationships among the European states, both Catholic and Protestant.

State Papers Online, 1509-1714: Part III: The Stuarts: James I to Anne, 1603-1714: State Papers Domestic

State Papers Domestic for the Stuart era (1603-1714) is the richest primary source archive of its kind to cover national affairs in England the seventeenth century. The manuscripts and accompanying calendars are vital to any scholar’s understanding of this turbulent century of civil strife, revolution, and regicide. Users can explore the nature of monarchy, the details of religious conflict, and the emergence of party politics.

State Papers Online, 1509-1714: Part IV: The Stuarts: James I to Anne, 1603-1714: State Papers Foreign: Ireland, Scotland and Registers of Privy Council ​

Part IV completes the State Papers of the Stuart period and contains volumes of documents from, to, and about all the countries of Europe. Many of these countries have lost their own collections from this period, increasing the rarity and value of these British State Papers. All the great international themes of the seventeenth century play out in document after document, making them an essential resource for not only British but European history: marriage alliances, revolutions, wars and treaties, trade and commerce, and religion.

Platform Features & Tools


Direct linking between the facsimile images of the manuscripts and their individual Calendar entries.

Comparative Analysis

View two manuscripts or two Calendar entries side by side for comparative analysis.

Many Ways to Explore

Browse through a single volume of either Calendar or manuscripts, or jump from volume to volume.


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