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

Post PhD reuniting with ‘old friends’. Time to give voice to juvenile criminals in long 19th C Ireland #crimhist #histchild #childhist @ReidyConor @ourcriminalpast @jessamycarlson

Inventing Australian women - The Countess

Superb essay on colonising women in Australia past & present by ⁦@msediewyatt⁩

⁦@ourcriminalpast⁩ ⁦@digipanoptic⁩ #twitterstorians https://thecountess.ie/inventing-australian-women/

I made a surprising discovery & found that in his youth, my ancestor spent a month in prison with hard labour. What was his crime & why did he do it? What was his experience of prison? #familysecret #Crime #prison @victoriansleuth @ourcriminalpast http://genealogyjude.com/2021/06/12/the-pair-of-boots/

Beverley-York rail route reopening plan examined https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-57352100

@EnglishRadical @AndrewThorpe4 Presumably this is portrait of him in captivity? Love that he’s smoking his pipe @ourcriminalpast

Reminds me of this cracking convict love token @nma http://love-tokens.nma.gov.au/highlights/2008.0039.0043

Appeal for tales of Hull airship crash which killed 44 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-57260147

Beverley-York rail route reopening plan examined https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-57352100

#histsex This (not to mess with) brothel owner is one of the people in the Dutch secret register of released prisoners, 1882-1897. Now available online @bhicarchief https://19thcprostitution.blogspot.com/2021/06/secret-register-of-released-prisoners.html

Really enjoyed our @Punishment_CRN panel at #LSA2021! 'Punishment and the Legacies of Empire' - with great papers from Florence Seemungal, Paul Khiatani, Smadar Ben-Natan, Mark Brown and Vijay Raghavan & @lizzieseal as discussant. From forthcoming special issue of @Pun_Soc!

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