The Digital History of Crime in Britain, 1700-1900 (HIH1041)

15 credits

This module explores the ways in which digital technologies are transforming the sources and study of the history of crime in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. It examines how sources such as trial accounts, newspapers, judicial records, criminal biographies, petitions for mercy, ballads, pamphlets and visual prints have been digitised. And it examines how historians have used digital technologies such as data mining and mapping to study those sources, including using computer-generated record linkage to reconstruct the lives of past offenders. You will consider how and to what extent these digital methods differ from earlier approaches to the subject. Topics that will be covered include the reporting of crime in the media; the introduction of lawyers in the criminal trial; and the changing ways in which offenders were punished in this period. No prior knowledge of the topic or specialist technical skills are required, and you will be encouraged to engage with the subject hands-on, by contributing to the digitisation of sources and undertaking forms of analysis such as data visualisation.