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

Dr 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

London, 1842: Pentonville Prison opens. But how are the inmates to be rehabilitated? Is there anything redemptive about solitary confinement? Can a religious outlook on life help with addiction? One troubled priest seeks to find out....Paperback and Kindle https://t.co/L5mmOeUMgn

The door of the prison where my ancestor James Duckworth was held in Warwick before being hanged for treason in 1773. His crime was coin-clipping, and when he was executed the newspapers reported he was the heaviest man in the county, weighing in at 23 stone.

"A Factory Señorita?" @femalefactoryol blog by @oldparramatta. Directs you to resources on the #OldBailey & #ParramattaFemaleFactory #convict #AdelaideDeLaThoreza inc. Gothic Fantasy 1878 bio & recent research untangling the truth #OzHist #twitterstorians https://t.co/9JhH0WYPFi

A selection of images on the topic of Photographing Prison Life in the Early 20th Century can be found on our website under the 'Explore Further' tab. Just click on the heading 'Digital Collections' and scroll down the page. Also available here: https://t.co/D1Wkv6079X

Great to be at the first meeting of the BSC's new historical criminology network today. Loads of exciting stuff will come out of this! Thanks @dchurchill01 for organising. #crime #criminology #History #twitterstorians

Exciting opportunity to hear Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, talk about how women’s lives have changed over the last century #Suffrage100 #Vote100 #eveningtalk https://t.co/gaREGnvqVF

Imagine a world in which there is no #art #music #film #drama - what life can exist in such a world? Latest issue of the Prison Service Journal explores the meaning of #arts for #prison @KateHerrity @YvonneJewkes @No1govhmpnotts @HmpStaffordGov @LauraSCaulfield #MusicInPrison

Don't forget to book for our event on 13 December - Suffragettes and the City https://t.co/EShMtZysA3 #londonhistory

#Listen: Ian Hislop and Tom Hockhenhull on dissent through the centuries https://t.co/D6aoywmQEQ #podcast