Government documents are primary sources of government activities. Highlighted here are documents of particular use for historical research. These can be found in the libraries and archives listed here.
Guide to Government Documents at the National Library of Jamaica provides details of general and frequently used government documents in Jamaica.
Statistical based historical government documents can be found at the University of the West Indies Mona Library, Government Serials office; National Library of Jamaica and the Jamaica Archives and Records Department.
Blue books provide statistical data covering population and vital statistics, civil service, government revenue and expenditure, transport, imports and exports among other things. Blue books exist for most, if not all, the commonwealth Caribbean countries, for example, Dominica, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia. Blue books can be found from the mid 19th century to the mid 20th century.
Handbooks comprise historical statistical and general information compiled from official and reliable records. Handbooks can be found from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s. The handbooks are especially useful for the general and historical information provided to supplement the statistical.
Departmental reports were first printed as part of the Blue books and later published as part of the annual general reports.
Primary evidence of government activity and discussions in parliament can be found in various legislative reporting documents covering the period of the 17th century to present. The holdings in the libraries and archives may differ from institution to another but list of the holding at National Library Jamaica can be found here while the holdings at the University of the West Indies are accessible via the UWILinC portal.
Hansards cover the period 1946 to present and are printed in two separate issues;Proceedings of the House of Representatives and Proceedings of Senate.
Hansard Proceedings of the Legislative Council cover the period 1936-1962.
Minutes of the Legislative Council - early to mid 1900s
Minutes of the House of Representative - mid 1900s
Journal of Legislative Council - 1800s
Journal of the House of Assembly - 1600s to early 1800s
Debates of the House of Assembly
Debates of the House of Assembly - mid 1800s
Votes of the House of Assembly 1700s to 1800s
Most of the historical records of government legal documents exist in printed formats at the three main historical institutions in Jamaica.