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PhoneBooth Basics

November 20, 2011

Charles Booth’s Enquiry into London Life and Labour (1886-1902) was the first attempt to undertake a systematic survey of living and working conditions in a single city and provides a unique insight into the lives of Londoners during the period. The archive of the survey includes interviews with Londoners from all walks of life, eye-witness descriptions of the city street-by-street recorded in police notebooks, and the colour coded Maps, Descriptive of London Poverty—Booth’s assessment of the social condition of each London street.

The archive is quite an extraordinary thing, and we’re attempting to make it all available via mobile phone. You will be able to see where you are on the Booth Map (and on a current one), access notebook entries, imagine what it was to be on that street over 100 years ago. I help teach a class on the Socio-Cultural Geographies of London, and we will be working with my students to develop the app and test it out, expanding the boundaries of pedagogy, research, and historical imagination.

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