Searching the Map Descriptive of London Poverty, 1898-9 by area
Check the digital Map Descriptive of London Poverty 1898-9 to discover the level of poverty or wealth of an area. Use the search facility to find the area on the map. Identify the colour of the streets and compare it to the colour key to discover the level of poverty or wealth in the area.
Finding an area in the police notebooks
There may be several walks around the local area in the 'police notebooks' - so called as the social investigators walked around the streets with local policemen between the years 1898 and 1900. The images of the 31 original police notebooks are available online to assist your research.
For some examples of descriptions for streets of various levels of poverty click here
While browsing the map you can click on the drop down box in the top-right of the page and use the 'Find nearby pages in the survey notebooks' option to view a list of the records relating to the area you are observing.
The police notebooks are identifiable by having an extra link to 'Display digitised image of this page'. Each walk starts with a description of the boundaries of the walk and a sketch map of the walk this will assist you finding the most relevant walk of your local area. Alternatively, you can browse through the police notebooks listed by district by clicking here.
Notebooks containing interviews
There are 450 notebooks in the Charles Booth archive and there may be notebooks relating to your local area that are not contained in the police notebooks. To identify these references use the catalogue search facility.
Most of the notebooks are classified by Booth District. If you would like to see a list of notebooks by Booth district click here.
The archive may contain interviews with workers, ministers, local government officials, teachers or charity workers who live or work in the area you are researching. The religious influences interviews contain a wealth of information concerning the local community. They record details about the church activities and remarks on local government, police, drink, prostitution, crime, marriage, thrift, health, housing and social conditions.
Reports of local areas
You may also wish to consult the reports of local communities which were compiled by the social investigators. They were compiled by Booth District as follows:-
Poverty notebooks concerning Households for the East of London [Booth B8-B64]
You may also find the poverty notebooks of interest to your research. They contain information gathered from the School Board Visitors records.
The notebooks are arranged by streets and contain the following information: Number of house; number of rooms the household occupies; rent of the property; occupation and the survey occupation classification (outlined in Booth B2-4, 6-7) of the head of the household;
wife's occupation; number of children; social classification of family A – H; the colour of the assigned street appears next to the street name
A single page from the poverty notebooks, Booth B15 p12, has been digitised to illustrate this section of the collection.
Poverty notebooks concerning Streets in London [Booth B65-76]
It was evident that if the classification of each household within London was far too time consuming if all the streets in London were to be classified therefore streets rather than households were classified. These notebooks contain the following information: name of street; colour assigned to street on poverty map; number of scheduled/unscheduled houses (surveyed); character of streets; number of children between ages of 3-13; description of street; number of household classed by survey social classification
A single page from the poverty notebooks, Booth B68 p32, has been digitised to illustrate this section of the collection.
You can search for particular streets or place names by using the search facility. All streets have been identified.
The next step
If you find archive notebooks which you would like to consult in person contact the Archives Division of the British Library of Political and Economic Science. Click here for contact details.
If you are unable to visit the archives and wish to receive a photocopy of pages from the archive click here for details concerning charges.
Maps for sale
Interest in the Maps Descriptive of London Poverty, 1898-9 is such that the British Library of Political and Economic Science intends to produce copies for sale. To register for information (no obligation to purchase), please send your contact details - including postal address - to:
Karen Bedwell, Library Communications Manager
Please note this contact is for map sales information only. Thank you
London School of Economics and Political Science
10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD