Archive

Our Criminal Past

‘Our Criminal Past’ is an interdisciplinary research network of UK-based stakeholders who are working academically and/or professionally in the field of the criminal, legal and penal history of Britain.

The creation of the network was in recognition of the growing importance of ‘our criminal past’, not only to academics but also to archivists, heritage professionals, educationalists and others in the wider community who have an investment in how our criminal past is to be preserved, presented and transmitted. Three inter-related themes have been identified as important areas of cross and multidisciplinary interest in terms of previous, current and future research that have contemporary and cultural significance beyond the academia. These are: Digitisation: Social Media and Crime History; Educating Historians of Crime: Classroom, Archive, Community; and Representing Penal Histories: Displaying and Narrating our Criminal Past.

Our series of network events brought together experts from a range of disciplines, including history, criminology, education, tourism and cultural studies, with archivists and those engaged in an educational and heritage capacity in museums and prisons. The events were a forum for discussion and debate about future strategic research planning and collaborations, the sustainability of research in relation to new technology and funding streams, and the role of individuals, communities and institutions in shaping and preserving our criminal past. Through the sharing of expertise and good practice, we explored ideas that would lead to new projects in the history of crime, thus ‘Caring for the Future’ of the history of crime.

 

Key Contacts

Professor Helen Johnston, University of Hull: h.johnston@hull.ac.uk

Professor Heather Shore, Leeds Beckett University: h.shore@leedsbackett.ac.uk

 

Events

Event 1: Our Criminal Past: Digitisation, Social Media and Crime History, London Metropolitan Archives, 17 May 2013

Event 2: Our Criminal Past: Educating Historians of Crime: Classroom, Archive, Community, Broadcasting Place, Leeds Beckett University, 6 September 2013

Event 3: Our Criminal Past: Representing Penal Histories: Displaying and Narrating the Criminal Past, Galleries of Justice, Nottingham, 31 January 2014

Latest Updates on Twitter

New content from ⁦@HistoryWM⁩ ‘Not a penny off' - Birmingham and The General Strike 1926 https://historywm.com/articles/the-1926-general-strike-in-birmingham

We might not have a coastline here in Shropshire but there are plenty of other places to get into the holiday vibe. Can't afford a yacht on the French Riviera? Why not don a bikini and hike a lift on a supplies barge? [Blists Hill PH/M/1/4/128] #HolidayFashion

A house of correction in the 19th century and a women's prison in the 20th, the largest in Western Europe. Holloway Prison needs a fitting legacy. A women's building, with specialist services & accommodation for vulnerable women would be ideal. Read more https://tinyurl.com/277h6yz4

The greatcoats our #Nightwatchmen wore had gone up in price by 5 shillings in 1833 since they’d last been bought in 1828 for 28/5 each – about £100 in today’s money. Fascinating to see how the costs are broken down, such as ‘Altering capes to fit the neck’.
#Textilehistorians

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Lovely postcard from the collection showing #Manchester Assize courts. Designed by Alfred Waterhouse and completed in 1864 they were demolished in 1957 & suffered heavy damage during the Blitz.

We hold some calendars of prisoners for the Assizes in our collection.

#SecretsOfTheMuseum @V_and_A @BBCTwo female convict prisoners made mosaic tiles which make the beautiful floor in Cast Courts, Room 46 of V&A. Made by women held in Woking convict prison around 1870s/1880s #prisonhistory #prison @prisonhistoryuk @Victorian @YvonneJewkes

New article out now on 'flash houses' - pubs alledgedly used by members of the 'criminal underworld' in 19th-century London: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/09526951211024561

Have you ever wanted to stand inside a Kiln?

Well, at Coalport China Museum, you can!

Come and take at these amazing brick structures from inside and out 👀

Book your tickets now: http://www.Ironbridge.org.uk/plan/ticket-prices

#Museum #EngineeringMarvel

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Development Manager, National and Networks @SampsCaroline wrote a blog about the Research Resilience event we ran with @history_uk, where she calls for more conversations between historians and archivists to shape future ways of working.

Read it here: https://www.history-uk.ac.uk/2021/07/19/reflections-research-resilience/