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31 March 2011
Institute of Historical Research, London

A workshop introducing two major new digital resources, Connected Histories and Mapping Crime

http://www.history.ac.uk/events/event/2592

Programme(may be subject to slight changes)1.00-1.15 – Welcome and introduction

1.15-1.55 – Tim Hitchcock (University of Hertfordshire)
Towards a history lab for the digital past

1.55-2.05 – Break

2.05-3.30 – Connected Histories for research – parallel workshops
1500-1700 – facilitated by Peter Webster (Institute of Historical Research)
1700-1900 – facilitated by Bob Shoemaker (University of Sheffield)

3.30-3.45 – Tea and coffee

3.45-4.30 – David Tomkins (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford)
Mapping Crime: making connections and exploring narratives in 18th- and 19th-century crime material

Keynote address
4.45-5.15 – David Thomas (The National Archives)
Let a hundred flowers bloom – is digital a cultural revolution?

5.15 – Reception

Registration is free. Places for the workshop are limited, but the keynote address will be open to a larger audience.

Contact details
Jane Winters (jane.winters@sas.ac.uk)

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London Lives 1690-1800

London Lives 1690-1800: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis, which will be a major resource in Connected Histories, has now been publicly launched.

The ‘London Lives’ website is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 pages (40 million words) of handwritten documents from criminal justice and local government. It will bring to life the working people who inhabited this first ‘world city’, to facilitate a new kind of history.

Evidence from a murder or a petty theft, petitions to relieve distress, accounts of money distributed to the poor and the records of hospitals, parishes and guilds, are all made newly available on this website. In addition, these manuscripts have been made cross-searchable with the records of trials held at the Old Bailey, and a set of fifteen further databases to make it possible to reconstruct individual lives from the fragments left in the archives. The site also provides comprehensive guides to these records, and to the history of everyday life in eighteenth-century London.

‘London Lives’, which was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), was created by academics from the Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire and published by HRI Online, the electronic publishing arm of the University of Sheffield´s Humanities Research Institute (HRI).

The website features an interactive facility that allows people from all over the world to search for and link together documents relating to a single individual, and to group these individuals into communities of shared experience. In the process hidden life stories and new patterns of behavior will emerge from the mass of documentation.

The site is designed to make it possible to reconstruct how ‘ordinary’ Londoners interacted with government and charitable institutions in the course of their daily lives. By examining how individual Londoners participated in and manipulated these agencies for their own ends, this project will demonstrate how the end users – criminals, victims and paupers – contributed to the making of modern social policy.

Official press release from University of Sheffield.

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Connected Histories in the news

Connected Histories is featured today on the BBC website.

A search engine is being created to help historians find useful sources.

The Connected History project will link up currently separate databases of source materials.

Once complete, it will give academics or members of the public a single site that lets them search all the collections.

Once completed the search engine will index digitised books, newspapers, manuscripts, genealogical records, maps and images that date from 1500-1900.

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