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Digital Public History

Researchers interested in British law have greatly benefitted from the digitization of the Old Bailey Proceedings, 1674-1913. This collection of court cases from London’s central court is one of the strongest digital repositories in existence and holds the potential to advance the user’s experience in many ways, whether helping them to ask new questions about the history of British law, conduct genealogical research, or–thanks to Old Bailey’s open access to its encoding practices–help educate a person looking to create web code for their own website. With a collection of 197,000 trials composed of roughly 120-127 million words, the Old Bailey Proceedings are one of several new digital projects that have attempted to make the process of conducting textual and quantitative analysis easier for all types of researchers.[1] In this essay, I will attempt to address some of the advantages and disadvantages of conducting textual and quantitative analysis online.

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