14 September 2011

On a labour of love--what the web can aspire to

Occasionally I stumble across some site which represents to me the best the web can do. I've got a lot of respect for such sites whenever I find them, but when they are personal efforts, self-funded, and with no axe to grind, I am really impressed. Add in the research behind something such as this, and I am blown away.

At first sight, the history of workhouses and the Poor Laws is not a particularly fun project. Indeed, it isn't, but the history, policy and practice of dealing with the poorest in society has ramifications to the present day. Someone needed to take it on and indeed humanise the dry records, and in this case it was Peter Higginbotham. He's done a fantastic job--I've checked out some locations with which I am familiar, and there are maps and photographs (many taken by him personally) and census records...

What a change from the necessarily generally critical and sceptical tone of my post, to endorse a truly public-spirited and selfless contribution. Thank you.

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