The Age of Inquiry

Since the 1990s, across many countries, inquiries into historical institutional child abuse have proliferated. However, despite a growing body of research, there exists no corpus of historical abuse inquiries and there remains limited delineation of the ways in which inquiries should be classified.

This project will make critical contributions to the fields of inquiry research and e-scholarship by (a) developing a typology and mapping the rise of historical abuse inquiries internationally; (b) producing a database and laying the foundation for a significant new online resource; and (c) advancing theorization of historical abuse inquiries in relation to local developments, transnational follows and international trends.

Web resource for mapping inquiries

This pilot project is beginning the task of mapping the rise of inquiries into historical institutional child abuse – over time and across national contexts – to better understand the form and remit of different inquiries, and to illuminate global trends and national differences. A database is current in development and the data generated will be made publicly available online. Using Online Heritage Resource Manager (OHRM), a contextual information framework mapping system and web-publishing platform, the foundation is being laid for a significant new public knowledge resource containing encyclopedia entries on historical abuse inquiries globally

Project members and funding

The project’s lead chief investigator is dr Katie Wright, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Contributing researchers are Professor Shurlee Swain, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia and Professor Johanna Sköld, Child Studies, Linköping University. The project is financed by the 'Transforming Human Societies' Research Focus Area (RFA), La Trobe University.

The project web page


Cover of publication ''
Katie Wright, Johanna Sköld, Shurlee Swain (2018)

traverse. Zeitchrift für Geschichte , Vol.25 , s.162-178 Continue to DOI

Cover of publication ''
Shurlee Swain, Wright Katie, Johanna Sköld (2018)

Journal of Historical Sociology , Vol.31 , s.282-296 Continue to DOI