With apologies for cross-posting
Please find below details of a one-day conference, addressing issues of
the retention, interpretation and access to police and similar records,
organised by the European Centre for the Study of Policing at the Open
University, and posted on behalf of Chris Williams.
Please contact Chris directly for more information or to reserve a place
Heritage and History of the UK Criminal Justice System
A one-day conference at the European Centre for the Study of Policing, Open
University, Milton Keynes. Friday June 18th, 2004.
The recent report in the Times claiming that the Metropolitan Police
Authority intended to offer Bow Street Police station for sale sparked a
lively correspondence, which marked one more chapter in the complex tale of
the Metropolitan Police Museum: long-projected but never delivered. The
'bobby', allegedly emanating from Peel's 1829 reforms, has long been
extolled as one of the crowning glories of Britishness, yet many British
and police criminal justice institutions are surprisingly negligent with
their heritage. Would the Royal Navy sell off HMS Victory?
Museums such as the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham have shown that
there is a highly successful niche that can be occupied. Spread around the
country are many fine police and prison museums, but most of these suffer
from having very little committed long-term support.
There is still no national policy for preserving the records of provincial
police forces: and the recent shift in de jure responsibility for the Met
from the Home Office to the Metropolitan Police Authority has brought the
continuing preservation of the Met's records into question. Currently, the
Association of Chief Police Officers are finalising guidelines prior to the
implementation of the Freedom of Information Act which will have a direct
bearing on the selection and preservation of historical records. Meanwhile,
crime dominates the public agenda as never before.
This one-day conference at the Open University in Milton Keynes will
provide an opportunity to discuss a wide variety of intellectual and policy
issues in this field. We are inviting proposals for 15-minute presentations
on the theme of the preservation and interpretation of the 'heritage' of
the UK's criminal justice system. Potential topics might include:
·Overviews of the situation and prospects of individual museums and museum
·The current archiving policies of police and other criminal justice
·Descriptions of specific archive holdings and their research potential.
·Past celebrations of history, such as the police centenary parades.
·The conflict over heritage, history and symbolism in the GS, RUC and PSNI.
·Preserving the history of non-Home Office police forces and agencies.
·The potential impact of the Freedom of Information Act.
This list is not exhaustive - if you are in any doubt about whether your
idea is relevant then get in touch. Please send 200-word abstracts to Chris
Williams at the address below by March 31st 2004. We will be able to
circulate extended versions of papers to conference participants if
The day will conclude with a round table session in which selected key
academics and practitioners will present their views of the future of this
sector and be available for questions and general discussion.
The conference will be useful for: national and local archivists, museum
curators, volunteers involved in individual museum or record preservation
projects; policy makers in the area; police force information officers; and
academics in the fields of criminal justice history, public history, and
For more information please contact Dr Chris A Williams:
[log in to unmask], (European Centre for the Study of Policing, Arts
Faculty, Open University, MK7 6AA).
Lecturer in Records and Information Management
LUCAS, School of History
9 Abercromby Sq
Liverpool L69 3DA
Tel 0044 151 794 2411
Fax 0044 151 794 3153