The Australian Data Archive (https://ada.edu.au/) provides a national service for collecting, preserving, publishing and accessing digital research data. It deploys an international standard repository software (on the Dataverse platform) to enable researchers to archive their data in a format suitable for sharing with other researchers.
In 2019 the Prosecution Project led a successful bid to the Australian Research Data Commons to establish a shared data repository to be known as ‘The Australian Criminal Justice History Dataverse’. Data is curated by the Prosecution Project (https://prosecutionproject.griffith.edu.au/) then exported to the Dataverse in a format (eg csv files suitable for use in spreadsheets) suitable for access by other researchers.
Datasets include Australian jurisdiction level data over long periods of time. These may include for example all records of NSW Court of Criminal Jurisdiction from 1788-1810, all Tasmanian Supreme Court trials from 1824-1939, or all Victorian Female Prisoners from 1860-1934 (for the full list of sets at any time see here: https://dataverse.ada.edu.au/dataverse/australian_historical_criminal_justice_data). Over time the dataverse will include other long runs of data, eg for Australian penal colonies, for prisoners in the second half of the nineteenth century, or for soldiers tried by court martial in the two World Wars.
The data provided depends on the original source and the nature of the research project from which datasets are drawn. For the Prosecution Project Supreme Court records, the data generally includes name, offence, trial date and location, judge, verdict, sentence. For prison records the data commonly includes name and offence and sentence, as well as invaluable data on birthplace, religion, occupation and height.Access to data held on the Dataverse is free, via a simple registration process at https://dataverse.ada.edu.au/dataverse/ada
For more information – Mark Finnane, The Prosecution Project, Griffith University, email:firstname.lastname@example.org