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As the Gavels Fell: 240 Years at Old Bailey By PATRICIA COHEN

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  • terry foreman
    As the Gavels Fell: 240 Years at Old Bailey By PATRICIA COHEN For 240 years the grand parade of human greed, love, cruelty, longing, and foolishness was
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18, 2011
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      As the Gavels Fell: 240 Years at Old Bailey By PATRICIA COHEN

      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, oldbaileyonline.org, 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.”

      Mr. Hitchcock argues that new methods of digitally analyzing and mapping the history of crime using the entire Proceedings will revise “the history of the criminal trial....”

      More http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/books/old-bailey-trials-are-tabulated-for-scholars-online.html
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