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The University of Hull

Law, Crime & History

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'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. Find out more about who is included in the network.

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 bring 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 are 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 explore ideas that lead to new projects in the history of crime, thus 'Caring for the Future' of the history of crime.

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Plus Icon Convictionblog
Conviction explores how prisoners experienced confinement and passed their time in an early Victorian gaol. Using the remarkable journals of the prison visitor, Sarah Martin, it examines how inmates responded in words and actions to punishment and to Christian instruction. Reconstructing the lives of offenders and their families before and after imprisonment, it investigates the immediate and long-term influences of a pioneering programme of prisoner rehabilitation.
Plus Icon Prison Voices
Crime, Conviction and Confession, 1700-1900 is created by second-year undergraduates studying English literature and cultural history at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. In our blogs we examine the literature of crime and punishment in the 18th and 19th centuries, both fictional and non-fictional, and consider how these influenced each other.
Plus Icon The Crime and Punishment Collections Network
The Crime and Punishment Collections Network: The website of the Crime and Punishment Collections. The Crime and Punishment Collections Network is a network of museums, libraries, archives and heritage sites concerned with the topic of crime and punishment.
Plus Icon Wayward Women
Wayward Women: The website presents Dr Lucy William’s research from The University of Liverpool, on female criminality in the Victorian period.
Plus Icon The Digital Panopticon
The Digital Panopticon: This is collaboration is between the universities of Liverpool, Sheffield, Tasmania, Oxford and Sussex, with funding from the AHRC. The website presents work in progress and news about the project, which uses digital technologies to explore the impact of different types of punishment on people who were sentenced at the Old Bailey between 1780 and 1875.
Plus Icon Public and Digital History
Public and Digital History: This is a blog about public and digital history belonging to Adam Crymble, of the University of Hertfordshire.
Plus Icon Founders and Survivors
Founders and Survivors: Founders and Survivors is the website of a collaborative project between historians, genealogists, demographers and population health researchers. The project seeks to record and study the founding population of men, women and children who were transported to Tasmania.
Plus Icon Workhouse Tales
Workhouse Tales: Workhouse Tales is the website of Dr Lesley Hulonce, of the University of Cardiff. The website features her research on the workhouse and the lives of those living under the Poor Law regime in 19th and 20th century Britain.
Plus Icon The Carceral Archipelago
The Carceral Archipelago: Transnational Circulations in Global Perspectives, 1415-1960. The Carceral Archipelago is a European Research Council project under the direction of Professor Clare Anderson, of the University of Leicester. The project analyses the relationship and circulations between and across convict transportation, penal colonies and labour, migration, coercion and confinement.
Plus Icon The Proceedings of the Old Bailey
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey: The Old Bailey Online is a fully searchable edition of the 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court between 1674 and 1913.
Plus Icon SOLON
SOLON: This is the website of Solon, a network which promotes interdisciplinary studies in law, crime and history.
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