Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Old Bailey Project

The Proceedings of the Old Bailey - 1674-1913 - summaries of court cases in the City of London and the County of Middlesex were published regularly until 1913. The transcripts were to provide a true, fair and perfect narrative of the court proceedings. The City of London subsidised the publishing of the proceedings from the end of the eighteenth century. As court proceedings were increasing reported in newspapers the need for a sepaprate publication diminished. These valuable resources have been available  online since 2003 at http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/.

On 30 June, as part of the Making Public Histories series at the State Library of Victoria, Professor Robert Shoemaker (University of Sheffield) director of the The Old Bailey Proceedings Online Project discussed digital histories as a form of public history. He also looked at what the Project team learned from its users as well as how the media have used the site, in particular the UK BBC series Garrow's Law, now in its second series and the radio program,Voices from the Old Bailey. Shane Carmody (Director of Collections Access State Library of Victoria) discussed how dispersed digital resources are linked in local projects in Victoria.

Placing the Proceedings of the Old Bailey online was only the initial project. Subsequent projects utilising the resources of the proceedings include -
 Crime in the Community: Enhancing User Engagement for Teaching & Research with the Old Bailey Online enabled us to carry out the first comprehensive analysis of site usage. A report was of analysis was published in 2010.

Shane Caromdy spoke about the digitisation projects at the State Library and also the shift from charging for the use of items provided online to making them freely available with users providing acknowledgement to the library.

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