Police Bulletin

Houghton Library Blog 2015-10-13

This post is part of an ongoing series featuring items from the newly acquired Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

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The publication Bulletin de Police Criminelle was a weekly publication distributed to specific police stations throughout France beginning in 1907.  These bound copies come from the Chalon-sur-Saône police station which is located in the Burgundy region of France.  The weekly bulletins, which are of course in French, appear to serve as both a research tool and a tracking system of crimes and criminals throughout the country.  We don’t currently have the entire run of the publication, but we do have issues that span a good 29 years with the most recent being no. 1523 from 1936.  The individual issues are annotated (most likely by various police personnel) with short notes regarding arrests and other relevant details.  At the back of each bulletin is a section that gives updates about the status of the criminals featured in earlier issues.  The first few suspects in each bulletin have photographs to aid in identification, but there are also just text descriptions without any visuals.

Img0015The description of relevant facts varies probably depending on what information was available at the time.  Some of the general facts that most entries have include a description of the crime, the name of the Judge that issued the arrest warrant, Img0017any accomplices or places they may be hiding out in, and often a physical description or distinguishing marks that could aid the police in capturing a suspect.  The bulletins would also occasionally feature descriptions or alerts about stolen jewelry and objects.

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Bulletin hebdomadaire de police criminelle. Paris : Ministère de l’intérieur, 1907-; No. 1 (1907)- can be found in Widener’s collection.  

Thanks to Alison Harris, Santo Domingo Project Manager, for contributing this post.