Record numbers search historical website

The University of Sheffield has logged record numbers of people visiting the newly expanded Old Bailey Proceedings Online website. The site has proved so popular that computing experts at the University have had to increase server capacity to manage the increase in traffic.

Old Bailey
Researchers from the Universities of Sheffield, Hertfordshire and The Open University recently launched the expanded website, which now includes details of criminal trials from 1674 to 1913, from just after the Great Fire to just before the Great War.

Demand for the website, which details the largest single source of searchable information about “ordinary” British lives and behaviour ever published, was so high that the site temporarily crashed under the pressure.

On the first day of its launch, the website, which now contains records from approximately 200,000 trials, logged 1,762,000 hits. In the first week alone, the site recorded over eight and a half million hits and 1,544,491 page impressions –about thirteen times the normal traffic on the site. And in the following week one especially busy day saw an astonishing three million plus hits, and half a million page views.

People from as far as Australia and the United States visited the site to gain a valuable insight into their ancestors and a diverse range of crimes from pick-pocketing and robbery, to abduction and murder.

Currently, the site is receiving about 300,000 hits per day, delivering around 100,000 page impressions.

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