Search tips

If you have any problems, questions, or exciting discoveries to share, try the Historic Hansard discussion forum!

Search types

There are two search types:

Most of the time you'll want to search for speeches so that you can get into the content quickly. But the debate search is useful if, for example, you want to track the passage of particular bills through Parliament.

Full text search

By default the search index assumes you want an 'OR' between all your keywords. So if you search Hansard speeches for chinese women you'll get back speeches that contain either 'chinese' or 'women'. You can control this by using boolean operators, for example:

There's a certain amount of fuzziness built-in to match things like plurals and alternate spellings. If you want to search for an exact phrase, or a particular form of a word, use double quotes:

For a bit of extra fuzziness you can use wildcard characters:

For more precision you can use proximity searches to set a maximum distance between your keywords:


You can filter results by:

You can also use House, Parliament, or Speaker without supplying any keywords. For example you could search for all speeches by Alfred Deakin during the first parliament.


You can download the results of your search as a CSV formatted file for further analysis. You should be able to open this file in any spreadsheet program.