01 February 2016

Welcome to 'Inside Boggo Road'

A brand new prison history website called ‘Inside Boggo Road’ was recently launched by the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society. You can check it out here. It’s fair to say that it is the best website on the subject out there, and one of the most comprehensive prison history portals in the world. This boast is not made lightly, but the truth is that most websites associated with historical prisons tend to be a bit light on the history side of things, with just a few pages devoted to the subject.

So far, 'Inside Boggo Road' contains over 160 pages of information and hundreds of images, with more to come as we develop the site even more.

The idea was to transform some of the information collected over the years by the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society volunteers into a one-stop online centre. The centrepiece is the ‘History Vault'
, which contains numerous sections on  different aspects of prison history. These include: 

  • Prison Life: The ins and outs of everyday life for staff and inmates inside Boggo Road.
  • Research Centre: Tips and useful links for people researching Boggo Road and Queensland prison history.
  • Boggo Through The Decades: The 116-year evolution and constantly-changing face of the Boggo Road prison reserve.
  • The Queensland Hangings: All about capital punishment in Queensland and the 94 people hanged here.
  • Escapes From Boggo Road: A look at the many attempts made to escape from Boggo Road since its earliest days.
  • Prisons For Women: Looking at the different women's prisons that have stood at Boggo Road over the years.
  • The People Of Boggo: About some of the thousands of people who experienced life in Boggo Road.
  • The Buildings Of Boggo Road: A look at the various buildings that made up Boggo Road, from construction to archaeology.
  • Maps & Plans: Some of the fascinating maps and plans associated with Boggo Road since 1883.
  • Trouble & Strife: How Boggo Road earned its reputation as a 'notorious' prison through years of conflict, strikes and riots
  • Penology & Prison Reports: Learn about changing attitudes to running prisons, and some landmark inquiries that led to change.
  • Prisons Of Colonial Queensland: Heritage prisons are a rare sight now, but a network of prisons once spanned the colony.
  • Mythbusting: Looking at some of those Boggo Road stories that don't quite pass muster.
  • Prison Timelines: Better understand prison history with these simple historical frameworks.

Each of the sections mentioned above links to further specialised-subject pages, which themselves contains links to further material. 

In addition to all this, there is also info on what is happening with Boggo Road now, the ongoing work of the BRGHS, and a shop, among other things. 

I did much of the work on 'Inside Boggo Road' myself, and the intent was to produce a clean, simple design, avoiding the current fad of websites overloading their landing pages with massive graphics but little obvious navigation or useful information, sacrificing substance for style. The focus is on presenting a genuinely useful, in-depth exploration of Boggo Road and Queensland prison history through the decades, in a way that it is relatively easy to navigate. It is still a work in progress and we are smoothing out the wrinkles, but we're pretty happy with it so far.

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