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Digital Projects Using Old Bailey Online Data

The Old Bailey Online datasets (the Proceedings and Ordinary's Accounts) have been used or re-used in a growing number of digital projects, involving federated search, historical linguistics, GIS, record linkage, datamining and data visualisation.

If you make (or have made) use of our data for a digital project that is available online, however large or small, which is not listed here, please let us know and we will add it to this list. For more information on different ways to get hold of the data in various forms for re-use in projects of your own, please see the Access to Data page.

We welcome proposals for collaborative projects with academic, cultural and commercial organisations.

Searchable Online Resources

These online resources enable users to search Old Bailey Online data in combination with other sources for new historical and analytical insights.

The Digital Panopticon: The Global Impact of London Punishments, 1780-1925

  • Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield, Oxford, Sussex, and Tasmania
  • A project to explore the impact of different types of punishments on the lives of c.90,000 people sentenced at the Old Bailey between 1780 and 1870. Proceedings data is linked to a wide range of punishment records to create 'life archives' tracing the life experiences and criminal careers of Old Bailey defendants.

London Lives 1690-1800

  • Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire
  • A digital edition of 240,000 manuscripts from 8 archives and 15 datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names. We included the Old Bailey Online data (up to 1819) in this resource to enable cross-searching with a wide range of manuscript sources from 18th-century London, primarily concerning poverty, poor relief, crime and criminal justice. London Lives has a different emphasis and purpose from the Old Bailey Online website, focusing on tracing people and creating biographies.

Connected Histories: British History Sources 1500-1900

  • Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire, Institute of Historical Research, London; and 20+ content providers
  • Connected Histories brings together a range of digital resources related to 16th-19th-century Britain within a single federated search that allows sophisticated searching of names, places and dates. This project makes it possible to search the Old Bailey Online data alongside a wealth of related online sources including transportation records, newspapers, and parliamentary records.

Locating London's Past

  • Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire; Institute of Historical Research; Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA)
  • This website allows you to search a wide body of digital resources relating to early modern and eighteenth-century London, and to map the results onto a fully GIS compliant version of John Rocque's 1746 map of London. The key components of this resource are geo-referenced versions of Rocque’s map and the 1869-80 Ordinary Survey map, together with a geocoding tool which matches tagged place names in the Old Bailey Online, London Lives and other datasets with geographical coordinates.

NINES and 18thConnect

  • and
  • University of Virginia
  • NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship) is a scholarly organization devoted to forging links between the material archive of the nineteenth century and the digital research environment of the twenty-first. NINES, and its sister project 18thConnect (for the eighteenth century), aggregates online sources, provides tools for searching and analysing them, and supports scholarly networking. Both sites offer, in particular, potential ways to approach the Proceedings as a source for literary history.

Mapping Crime (John Johnson Collection)

  • Bodleian Library/Proquest
  • Connects records in the Crimes, Murders and Executions section of the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera to the appropriate entries in selected external online resources including the Proceedings.

Digital Innovations and Tools

A number of projects have developed new ways to explore, analyse and visualise the familiar terrain of the Proceedings, using the tools of topic modelling, text mining, corpus linguistics and 'big data'; as well as providing resources to learn or improve the skills needed for using these methods.

Please note that some of these are under development or still evolving, so they could change, move, add new material (or even break!) in the future.

Old Bailey Voices

  • Universities of Sheffield and Sussex
  • This has grown out of the Voices of Authority research theme of the Digital Panopticon project, as a demonstration of a 'macroscope', which allows big data to be explored both at scale and close-up. It combines Old Bailey Online and Old Bailey Corpus data, a 3D reconstruction of the Old Bailey court room, and text-to-speech technology, as well as a range of data visualisation techniques, in order to tell new stories and find large-scale patterns in the Old Bailey data.

Old Bailey Topic Explorer

The Old Bailey Corpus (version 2.0)

  • University of Giessen (Magnus Huber)
  • The Old Bailey Corpus is based on Old Bailey Online data and documents spoken English from 1720 to 1913. The project has created a linguistic corpus representing a substantial sample of the Proceedings - c.24 million spoken words in 637 selected sessions - by identifying and tagging direct speech in the trial reports and adding information about speakers. There is a sophisticated online interface for linguistic analysis, as well as a downloadable corpus and concordancing tool.

Datamining with Criminal Intent

  • Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire; George Mason University; University of Alberta; University of Western Ontario
  • Datamining with Criminal Intent was an international Digging into Data project which brought together three online resources: the Old Bailey Online, Zotero and TAPoR, enabling users to study Old Bailey texts using analytical tools from TAPoR like Voyant Tools and information management tools like Zotero. The project also created the Old Bailey API.

The Old Bailey Data Warehousing Interface

  • University of Alberta
  • A proof-of-concept tool that enables users to quickly and easily visualize trends and distributions in the Old Bailey Proceedings. A standalone tool created by partners in the Criminal Intent project.

Scalable Data Science

The Programming Historian

  • William Turkel, Adam Crymble, Caleb McDaniel, Fred Gibbs, and others
  • The Programming Historian is a suite of high-quality online tutorials to help historians (and other humanists) 'learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate their research'. A number of the tutorials explicitly use the Old Bailey Online (including the API) as a source of data, and many more are potentially applicable.

Past Experiments


  • Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire; PlayGen
  • A Firefox Extension for Entity Recognition within research data. Scrutiny could scan web pages selected by individual users and highlight entities that it thought would interest them.

Armadillo: Historical Data Mining

  • Universities of Sheffield and Hertfordshire
  • This project used a set of online resources in eighteenth-century British social history to evaluate the potential benefits of semantic web technology for Arts and Humanities researchers.