Our Criminal Past: Digitisation, Social Media and Crime History

London Metropolitan Archives, 17th May 2013

The first event of new AHRC network β€˜Our Criminal Past: Caring for the Future’ drew a diverse audience of archivists, academics, and librarians to London Metropolitan Archives to assess the impact of digitisation and social media on criminal history and consider the implications of using these tools for future research and dissemination.

The event was structured by three strands: session one explored the on-going digitisation of penal histories, session two considered the uses of social media for historians of crime, and the final session took the form of a roundtable where we debated the key issues that had been raised throughout the day.

The event was extremely productive in fostering debate about the future of crime history following the digital turn, and two key issues dominated the discussion overall: firstly, that collaboration between Universities, museums, libraries and archives is crucial to the future success of the field, and secondly, the advantages and limitations that digital resources and social media can bring to the history of crime.

This article was previously published on the Our Criminal Past website in 2013

Latest Updates on Twitter

The Prison Cell is out now! Answer 1/2 questions to win a free e-book:

2. The β€˜Prison Escape’ game uses the cells of which former prison in The Netherlands?
A Norgerhaven
B Breda
C Gevangenpoort

Winning comment picked at random July 17th #prisons https://bit.ly/322OiMP (2/2)

The Prison Cell is out now! Answer 1/2 questions to win a free e-book:

1. In C19th, housing prisoners in individual cells was called the..?

A Separate System
B Silent System
C Lonely System

Winning comment picked at random July 17th #prisons https://bit.ly/322OiMP (1/2)

@OU_Williams @northernhistory @ourcriminalpast @DrewDGray @WelshRaffles @earlypolicing We'd confirm - seems to be wearing an indoor tailcoat and unlikely for a Runner to be armed with a sword in this scenario. @blackpoppies14 has researched the earliest known Met mixed-race officer, Robert Branford, with us 1838-1866:
https://twitter.com/Southwark_News/status/1263560495598129153

@earlypolicing @OU_Williams @northernhistory @ourcriminalpast @DrewDGray @MPSHeritage @WelshRaffles @BritPoliceHist @colpolicemuseum Thomas Latham is noted here. However dates do not coincide.

https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/article/section/bhm-firsts/john-kent-britains-first-black-policeman/

@northernhistory @ourcriminalpast @DrewDGray @MPSHeritage @WelshRaffles @earlypolicing I don't think he's drawn in there as a Runner -- he's getting up from his chair. So it looks like PC Kent of Carlisle Police remains the earliest confirmed (1830s) black constable. There could well be others out there though.

I'm spending today back in the murder files, reading through trial depositions and looking for evidence of detective practice and early CSI techniques. Great to have finally got round to sorting out the data from my last archival visit! I shall report backβ€¦πŸ˜€πŸ”Ž #detectives #PhD

The 1810 Bastards Act placed the responsibility for the maintenance of an illegitimate child on the putative father rather than the Parish. Mary Bilham of Carbrooke, Norfolk named Stephen Beeks as the father of her child. Her daughter was baptised in January 1812. #101Documents

2

@victoriansleuth @ourcriminalpast Shouldn't be too difficult to knock up some stocks from a few wooden pallets and some scrap timber, attach some wheels, we're mobile. πŸ€”πŸ˜‚

I have several 'criminals' in my family tree, who were convicted of theft, poaching, swearing on the highway (!), and keeping a disorderly house 😱 Have you found any criminal ancestors? #AncestryHour

@TheRothOfKhan @PlymCSecResp @CrownhillPolice @PlymASecResp @plymspecial999 @PlymPoliceBSec @PlymouthVPC @CustodyPlymouth @MPSSouthwark @MPSGreenwich @DevonHeritage @HMNBDevonport @NatMuseumRN @theboxplymouth @britainsocean @PlymouthUK2020 @oneplymouth @sarewaddington Fortunately we also have a digitised copy of his divisional ledger entry on M, where he was M341. He'd switched from carman for a haulage company (1911) to labourer by the time he joined the Met, making the transfer to No. 3 (Devonport) Division on 4 July 1917.