At this week’s ROLLS seminar, we are delighted to welcome Professor Tim Hitchcock (Sussex University) to talk about his new work on The Old Bailey Proceedings data. We hope to see you there (1pm, Wed 26/04, Jubilee G36).
Hearing voices in an 18th century courtroom: Sound, space and experience at the Old Bailey
Combining 3D modelling of the Old Bailey courtroom c.1800 with textual analysis of the recorded speech of defendants tried there, this paper explores how we might reconstruct the 'voices' of the dead, and locate them in an understandable material context. By combining statistical analysis of one of the most extensive verbatim records we possess of speech acts prior to the twentieth century - The Old Bailey Proceedings - with historical reconstructions derived from architectural drawings, contemporary images and archival research, this papers seeks to both illustrate an innovative methodological approach, and at the same time, revise our understanding of the evolution of both the trial process, and the experience of being tried.
And a biographical blurb.
Tim Hitchcock is Professor of Digital History at the University of Sussex. He has published a dozen books on the histories of poverty, sexuality and street life, primarily focussed on eighteenth-century London; and with Professor Robert Shoemaker and others has created a series of websites helping to give direct public access to 35 billion words of primary sources evidencing the history of Britain. Designed to underpin the writing of a new 'history from below', these sites include: the Old Bailey Online, 1674 to 1913 (www.oldbaileyonline.org); London Lives, 1690-1800 (www.londonlives.org); Locating London's Past (www.locatinglondon.org); and Connected Histories (www.connectedhistories.org). Jointly with Robert Shoemaker, in 2011 he was given the History Today, Trustees Award for his contribution to historical research.