Charles Booth was a 19th century Victorian-era Englishman concerned with the rapid increase in poverty and human suffering throughout London that developed during the late 19th century. As such, he embarked on a 30-year quest to document these conditions throughout London by creating detailed poverty maps of the city, engaging in hundreds of detailed interviews with people from all walks of life, and publishing his results in a multi-volume set that was completed in 1903. To their credit, the London School of Economics and Political Science (collaborating with the University of London Library) has digitized many of these fine maps, along with Booth's original survey notebooks and interviews, and placed them on the site. The excellent interface feature allows visitors to browse over the historic poverty maps and compare them to contemporary London, along with reading the observations of police officers from the period. Along with offering users the ability to search the maps of London poverty and the survey notebooks, the site provides a helpful index of subject terms, people, organizations, and locations that are referenced throughout the collection. This site will be of great interest to people seeking an engaging and multi-perspectival approach to social welfare and urban history.
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