Monday, January 07, 2008

Dying Speeches and Bloody Murders: Crime Broadsides Collected by the Harvard Law School Library

The Harvard Law School Library announces the launch of a new digital collection highlighting its extensive holdings of crime broadsides. It can be viewed here.

Just as programs are sold at sporting events today, broadsides--styled at the time as "Last Dying Speeches" or "Bloody Murders"--were sold to the audience that gathered to witness public executions in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. The Library's collection of more than 500 of these broadsides is one of the largest recorded and, to our knowledge, the first to be digitized in its entirety. The examples digitized span the years 1707 to 1891 and include accounts of executions for such crimes as arson, assault, counterfeiting, horse theft, murder, rape, robbery, and treason. Many of the broadsides vividly describe the results of sentences handed down at London's central criminal court, the Old Bailey, the proceedings of which are now available online, here.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Peck Stacpoole Foundation, the collection has been expertly conserved by the Harvard University Library's Weissman Preservation Center and imaged by the Harvard College Library's Digital Imaging Services.
"The Newspaper and the Culture of Print in the Early American Republic"
The 2008 American Antiquarian Society Summer Seminar in the History of the Book in American Culture

“The Newspaper and the Culture of Print” will be led by David Paul Nord of Indiana University and John Nerone of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at the AAS in Worcester, MA, June 18-23. Vincent Golden, Curator of Newspapers and Periodicals at the AAS, will serve as a guest instructor. The seminar will be of particular interest to scholars from a wide range of fields whose work deals with print culture.

The application deadline is March 14, 2008. Additional information is available here.
Transatlantic Partnership Puts Medieval Manuscripts Online

A partnership between Stanford University and Cambridge University will make 538 manuscripts spanning the 6th to the 16th centuries available online. The collection, which has been located in the Parker Library at Cambridge's Corpus Christi College since the 16th century, consists mostly of manuscripts from monastic libraries, and includes about a quarter of all surviving early Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.

More information here.