How to use this corpus

The idea of this corpus is to give you or your students direct access to the discussions at the Victoria Climbié Inquiry of the events surrounding her treatment and death and, in particular, the work practices and actions of all the professionals such as social workers, the police and health workers who were involved in the case. There is a tremendous amount of detail of this and although this can be of particular use for those learning about or researching such professional practice, there is so much data that it can sometimes be hard to find what you need. This corpus project has provided some ways of retrieving just the data relevant to your task by providing a retrieval tool.

You could just dive straight in and retrieve some of the data from the Inquiry by going to the Retrieve Data web page, but a better approach is to look at the suggestions on the Learning Resources and Research Resources pages. The former offers some suggested topics for teaching along with suggested retrievals of the inquiry data, suggestions for ways of reading and interrogating this information and some ideas for student activities and questions that the data might be used to answer. The latter gives some illustrations of research questions that might be addressed by examining subsets of the whole corpus and shows what retrieval to use to obtain this data.

In each case the retrieval will deliver all the parts of the inquiry relevant to your requirements as defined by the retrieval terms you have selected on the Retrieve Data page. The whole data set of the verbal witness statements to the Inquiry has been divided into paragraphs, each one consisting of a lawyer at the Inquiry asking a question and the reply given by the witness. Each of these paragraphs has been coded, that is tagged, with key terms that relate to the subject matter discussed in the paragraph and who the witness was. On the Retrieve Data page these codes or tags are divided into five groups or levels so that you can progressively narrow down your retrieval of the data and focus just on the issues you are interested in. The Learning Resources and Research Resources pages give a number of examples of ways in which this can be done. The five levels are coloured and information elsewhere on this web site is similarly coloured to help you identify and understand their role.

Level 1 - Green - The role or occupation of the witness. You could, for example, retrieve all the statements from witnesses who were health workers by selecting Ambulance technician, General Practitioner, Health Visitor, Hospital Doctor, Nurse, Paediatrician and Pathologist/Forensic Scientist (Control- (or on the Mac, Command-) click to select more than one role or occupation). Or you could just select Social Worker to examine only what the social workers said. If you don't select any occupation or role you will get everyone.

Level 2 - Red - the borough or the hospital where people worked (if relevant). Social Services and some health staff are employed by a local authority borough. Other health staff are associated with a hospital or local health authority. If you don't select anything here you will get every borough and hospital.

Level 3 - Blue - indicates whether the witness speaking had contact with Victoria Climbié or not.

Level 4 - Pink - indicates whether the witness was discussing workplace practices or not.

Level 5 - Yellow - indicates the topic being discussed by the witness, for example, was it about a 'child protection case' or was the job of police officer being discussed?

At each level, if you do not select anything at all then all the witnesses and their discussions are included. For example, if you do not select any codes or tags at levels 1, 2, 3 or 4 and just the topic 'Prof/job discussed: Paediatricians' at level 5 then you will just get the 1,154 paragraphs of witness testimony from any witness who was discussing the work or role of paediatricians.


Learning Resources

Research Resources



The Victoria Climbié Foundation

Open Access and Institutional Repositories with Eprints