Alphonse Bertillon (1853 - 1914) was a key actor in the history of crime knowledge at the turn of the century. Influenced by criminal anthropology, his first contribution was the design and implementation of novel police identification methods at the Paris Prefecture de Police. From the 1880s onward, he also promoted a specific brand of policing knowledge, and fostered its dissemination on a large scale, in France as well as abroad.
His work was deeply influential all around the globe, and Bertillon is unanimously recognized as one of the forefathers of forensic science. At the same time, he also fostered brand new forms of judicial analysis, and developed unheard-of techniques and know-hows in the field of identification. His considerable written output tackles a variety of subjects, from criminal photography to dactyloscopy through file management and the analysis of crime-scene traces.
This online project aims at offering a complete overview of Alphonse Bertillonís work by putting forward numerous iconographic records and such scientific tools as bibliographies and archives. Another goal is to draw on the project to stimulate the production of new articles in the dynamic field of social science research about the identification of persons, and foster, in a comparative perspective, new research about how Bertillonís work was received and adapted in Europe and throughout the world.
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