History KS2/KS3: How photography changed everything for young Victorian offenders

In this film two historians guide us through what life would have been like for young James Dunn Barr as a young Victorian offender.

Until the mid 19th Century, the only records of child offenders were written accounts of their trials.

Then the invention of photography changed everything.

By the 1870s every criminal, young and old, had their photograph taken for police records.

Many of these still exist, giving us a remarkable insight into the harsh reality of being a young Victorian in Scotland.

Teacher Notes

You could get students to research types of crimes that young people were involved in

They could then produce their own photographic mug shot and crime record project to underpin their learning of the variety and scope of criminal activity in the growing industrial towns.

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching History and Social Studies at KS2, KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National Levels 2 and 3 in Scotland.

More from Victorian Villains:

Life in prison for young Victorian offenders
Life at a Victorian Reformatory School
Life at a Victorian Industrial School