Prison History www.prisonhistory.org is a database which contains information on nearly 850 penal institutions which existed in 19th century England, including around 420 local prisons and 380 lock ups. 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 we recovered.
One of the core aims of Prison History is to emphasise the importance of the local prison (and lock ups) in nineteenth-century society. It is an institution that has been largely neglected in the major studies of nineteenth-century imprisonment and it is time to redress the imbalance. To do that help is needed from local historians. The hope is that Prison History will be a useful resource for local historians, and also that local historians 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.
Launch date is 6 July, there is also a survey and the opportunity to provide feedback at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HR3CNLH