Friday, March 11, 2022

Crime and Punishment in Victorian London

As part of a new consortial arrangement, Duke now has campus-wide access to all database titles published by Adam Matthew Digital. While the Duke University Libraries already subscribed to a number of the company's historical research titles, the deal has added more than a dozen new sources to the Duke community’s access.

One of the most intriguing of these new additions is London Low Life: Street Culture, Social Reform and the Victorian Underworld, a full-text research database of primary sources related to London in the 1800s and 1900s. The "Browse Documents" section provides easy access to materials on topics like "Crime and Justice" (pamphlets, broadsides, and news accounts of crimes and trials), "Politics, Scandal, and the News" (political cartoons and other publications, often related to legal proceedings), and "Disreputable London" (tourist guides to the seedier side of the city as well as slang dictionaries of the era). The database also includes an Interactive Map featuring 3D street views, galleries of visual material in the database (such as "An Old Bailey Trial," below), and contextual essays. 

Image of "An Old Bailey Trial" by Robert Cruikshank (1838)

 Other fascinating Adam Matthew Digital additions to the campus database list include World's Fairs: A Global History of Expositions, African American Communities (featuring primary sources related to various Black communities, including some in North Carolina); and Confidential Print: North America, 1824-1961 (foreign relations papers from the UK).

Databases and individual publication titles from the various Adam Matthew collections can be found in the Duke University Libraries catalog. For help locating and using these historical resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.