Prison History

Prison History

You may be interested in a new web resource, Prison History (www.prisonhistory.org), a database containing information on nearly 850 penal institutions, including around 420 local prisons and 380 lock ups, which existed in 19th century England.

One of the core aims of Prison History is to emphasise the importance of the local prison (and lock ups) in nineteenth-century society, an institution that has been largely neglected in the major studies of nineteenth-century imprisonment.

For each institution, there is information about its operational dates, jurisdiction, location, population statistics, the primary and secondary sources which mention it, and a list of all the relevant and surviving archival documents which we have been able to find in repositories based in England. On accessing Prison History, users can either search for specific prisons or various types of prisons, or browse the lists of archival materials that the researchers have recovered.

It is hoped that Prison History will be a useful resource for local historians, and that you will want to get involved with this project, to help make the database an even better tool for local history, and, through emphasising the importance of prisons within nineteenth-century communities, to demonstrate the importance of local history research.  Please see the attached leaflet for more details: Prison History