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Formally known as the Central Criminal Court of London, the Old Bailey is arguably the world's most well-known criminal court. Serving the Commonwealth since the 17th century, the Old Bailey has seen hundreds of thousands of trials for every offense imaginable, along with serving as the setting for many important trials of the famous and infamous. Designed as a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and the University of Hertfordshire, this ambitious project aims to create a fully searchable digitized collection of the Old Bailey's entire proceedings from 1674 to 1834. Currently, visitors can browse through 22,000 trials, from December 1714 to December 1759. The Web site indicates that the entire proceedings should be online by spring of 2004, so interested persons should continue to check back frequently. From the main page, visitors can search the proceedings (and elect to read a transcription of each trial or view the original document), read about the nature of the proceedings, and read some engaging background essays on crime and punishment through the court's history.
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