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The potential forensic significance of convict archives from Van Diemenís Land, 1820-1877


Byard, RW and Maxwell Stewart, M, The potential forensic significance of convict archives from Van Diemen's Land, 1820-1877, Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 14, (1) pp. 127-132. ISSN 1547-769X (2018) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2017 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12024-017-9913-2


In recognition of their international importance, the convict records of Australia were placed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2007 [1]. This overview provides an account of recent work resulting from the digitization of an important part of this archive - the records for convicts transported to the British colony of Van Diemenís Land in the first half of the nineteenth century. Although incomplete in areas, this large and complex collection of registers and associated papers has considerable potential as a starting point for an investigation of the health status and sociological characteristics of a migrant population and their descendants over many generations. Recent collaborations have resulted in the digitization of a large section of this collection, and linkage to other classes of historical records have created opportunities for many researchers, as well as providing family historians with access to a treasure trove of information. From a forensic perspective the archives are significant in that the data contained could be used to facilitate an analysis of the nature of lethal natural diseases in this population, as well as the impact of punishments and other environmental insults on health, including intergenerational outcomes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:history of health, convict transportation
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Australian history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Maxwell Stewart, M (Professor Hamish Maxwell-Stewart)
ID Code:121702
Year Published:2018
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP140100623)
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-10-11
Last Modified:2019-01-11

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