This page explains what the subjects of criminology and social deviance covers, gives an overview of the material the British Library holds for this subject, and advice on how you can find and use it. It also gives details of current activities for developing the collections for this subject.
For the purposes of this guide 'criminology' is understood within a sociological framework with links to cultural theory. 'Criminology' as a discipline generally claims to be empirically grounded and this sets it apart from other studies of moral and legal discourses. The objects of study for criminologists are those actions and behaviours defined as 'criminal' by law as distinct from the sociology of deviance, which covers actions which can be considered transgressive in a given social and cultural system. Criminology and the sociology of deviance therefore operate together and have close links to other subject areas such as Sociology, Social Policy, Law and Legal Studies, Anthropology, Human Geography and Cultural Studies in terms of theoretical and methodological approaches.
As a legal deposit library, the British Library holds copies of all those key criminology texts published in the United Kingdom and collections from North America, Europe, Asia and Africa are also well represented. The strength of the library is as repository for both primary and secondary sources and as such is a particularly useful resource to those interested in the study of crime and deviance from a socio-historical perspective and from a comparative perspective. The table below summarises some key aspects of the collections which will be of interest to those studying criminology and the sociology of deviance.
- Manuscript collections
- Sound archive – including radio broadcasts, interviews with public figures and oral histories.
- Zines and underground press. For more information see the Counter Culture learning page.
Bibliographies and guides
Our collection of topical bibliographies is currently being expanded. Recently created bibliographies include:
We welcome your suggestions for areas to be covered.
- Interactive mapping on the web
- Welfare reform on the web – monthly abstracts of journal and news articles pertaining to social welfare issues. March 1999 to date.
- Mapping Dangerous Spaces - abstracts and working papers from a postgraduate symposium held at the Library in June 2009
Useful external links
- British Society for Criminology
- The American Society of Criminology
- The American Society of Criminology: Division on Critical Criminology
- Learning Criminal Surveillance: a Criminology Resource Guide
- Western Society of Criminology
- Crown Prosecution Service
- Scottish Prison Service
- UK Police Service
- Youth Justice Board for England and Wales
- Home Office: Research, Development and Statistics
- Cultural Criminology
Social Sciences Enquiry team
For more help on using the Social Sciences collections, contact the Enquiry team at Socialemail@example.com or telephone +44 (0)20 7412 7894 from 10.00 - 20.00 Mon- Thurs or 10.00 - 17.00 Friday.