The UK 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.
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.