Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mapping London's Vicious Poor

Charles Booth was an English philanthropist who is most famous for his research into working class life in London at the end of the 19th Century. In the 1800's a large proportion of London's population lived in poverty. Charles Booth wanted to know who they were and where they lived. He therefore carried out a huge study into the lives and working conditions of Londoners.

He published the results of his research in 'Life and Labour of the People in London'. The publication included detailed 'Maps Descriptive of London Poverty' in which the levels of poverty and wealth in London were mapped out street by street. 450 notebooks were also completed during the study, in which his researchers wrote detailed descriptions of London's streets and their inhabitants.

You can explore Booth's maps and notebooks of 19th Century London on the LSE's Charles Booth's London website. The maps and notebooks provide an amazing resource into the character and people of each London street in the 19th Century.

On Booth's maps individual buildings in each street are colored to indicate the occupants' social class. If you select the 'notebooks' option on the map you can view the notebooks relevant to each street and click through to read the appropriate notebook entry for a street. When you browse the notebook section of the LSE's Charles Booth's London you can also find links to the appropriate location on Booth's maps of London.

The LSE's Charales Booth's London also includes a maps download section where you can download and print any of the individual map sheets from the printed Maps Descriptive of London Poverty, 1898-9.
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