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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Old Bailey Transcripts Online

Amazing. Scholars have digitized thousands of pages from trials in the Old Bailey. The story is told here in a NYT article by Patricia Cohen. The introduction is pasted below.

"For 240 years the grand parade of human greed, love, cruelty, longing, and foolishness was captured in the Proceedings, the published record of trials that took place at the Old Bailey, the central criminal court, in London.

Now, powerful digital tools developed by an international team of researchers to search these trial reports and summaries have begun to offer new insights into the evolution of the justice system, the institution of marriage and changing morals.

The Old Bailey offers a unique window into the criminal justice system and, by extension, British culture. The free searchable online archive,, contains accounts of nearly 198,000 trials between 1674 and 1913. “It’s the largest body of accurately transcribed historical texts online,” said Tim Hitchcock, a historian at the University of Hertfordshire in England and part of the team. “All of human life is here.”"


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