London Low Life – new online resource


The University now has access to the London Low Life. This full-text searchable resource, contains colour digital images of rare books, ephemera, maps and other materials relating to 18th, 19th and early 20th century London.

Take a look at the short introductory video to get a flavour of this fascinating resource

London Low Life brings to life the teeming streets of Victorian London, inviting students and scholars to explore the gin palaces, brothels and East End slums of the nineteenth century’s greatest city.

From salacious ‘swell’s guides’ to scandalous broadsides and subversive posters, the material sold and exchanged on London’s bustling thoroughfares offers an unparalleled insight into the dark underworld of the city. Children’s chapbooks, street cries, slang dictionaries and ballads were all part of a vibrant culture of street literature.

Topics covered include:

  • The underworld
  • Slang
  • Working-class culture
  • Street literature
  • Popular music
  • Urban topography
  • ‘Slumming’
  • Prostitution
  • The Temperance Movement
  • Social reform
  • Toynbee Hall
  • Police and criminality

This is also an incredible visual resource for students and scholars of London, with many full colour maps, cartoons, sketches and a full set of the essential Tallis’ Street Views of London – a unique resource for the study of London architecture and commerce.

This interactive mapping enables users to overlay Victorian cartography over a modern, searchable base map and:

  • Visualise core data about Victorian London, including the boundaries of local government, population size, density and growth, crime and poverty data
  • Locate and read about key institutions: workhouses, orphanages, asylums, prisons, religious missions, etc
  • Walk’ through London’s main streets with 3D versions of the Tallis Street Views


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