Three million crime, court and convict records to be digitised
The National Archives' crime, courts and convicts collection is to be transcribed, digitised and published online by brightsolid, following an open tender process.
Comprising bound volumes and loose papers dating from 1782 to 1930, this vast collection includes records from the Home Office, Prison Commission, Metropolitan Police, Central Criminal Court and the Admiralty.
The records will be searchable by name, alias, date of birth, place, offence and sentence. Content such as judges' reports, prison registers, transfer papers and gaolers' reports will also be included.
'Hidden stories of crime and punishment'
Caroline Kimbell, Head of Licensing at The National Archives, said: 'By making these important sets of historical records available online, more people than ever before can uncover hidden stories of crime and punishment from the archives. Being able to add these popular records to the growing list of The National Archives' resources available digitally is yet more evidence of the importance and effectiveness of forming partnerships across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.'
Elaine Collins, Business Development Director at brightsolid commented: 'Brightsolid is very much looking forward to digitising and publishing online for the first time these amazing records from the national collection, making them available to an ever growing audience of family historians worldwide.'
The digitisation project is a huge undertaking with conservation, scanning, image processing and quality control work needed. This will be a labour and time intensive manual scanning project with around 1.84 million images (pages) making up the records. Both the conservation and scanning stages are expected to take around 18 months to complete, with the first tranche of records expected to be published online from December 2012.
You can find guidance on the records that are currently available in our Criminals, bankrupts and litigants research signposts.