About this Resource

The Stephen Lawrence murder case and the Macpherson Inquiry that followed it stand together as a milestone in British history and in Black history, and they remain highly relevant and controversial to this day.

Yet ever since the Inquiry published its report in 1999 most of its documentation has been out of reach of the public, available only in hard copy at the National Archives in Kew, south London.

DiscoverMacpherson seeks to remedy that, giving online users everywhere access to many of the key documents free of charge and in fully searchable form. For the first time, scholars, lawyers, students and interested members of the public can search and read inquiry transcripts, important statements and submissions and other relevant documents.

Who is behind this?

The site has been created by Brian Cathcart, the author of the award-winning book The Case of Stephen Lawrence and former (retired) Professor of Journalism at Kingston University London. This has been done with the support of the SDS Group. DiscoverMacpherson.com is intended as a parallel site to Kingston University’s successful DiscoverLeveson.com, which offers in searchable form most of the documentation of the 2011-12 Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.

The SDS Group
SDS are experts in Records Management, Document Management and Company Archives (for Heritage collections, administrative and corporate business files). The SDS Group has 4 major areas which together provide our unique services and solutions:

  • Corporate, Departmental & Company Wide Bespoke Document Management Solutions
  • Industrial Scanning Bureau (UK based)
  • Software Developers, Digital Agency & Systems Integrators
  • Pioneers of Born Digital and Digital Preservation Systems and Consultancy

Technology and Expertise

  • Software Engineering Development
  • Heritage Scanning Bureau
  • Systems Analysis, Design, Programming and Implementation
  • Project Management
  • UI and UX knowledge
  • Unrivalled Proactive & Reactive Customer Support

SDS provide bespoke, cutting edge turnkey ICT solutions to many of the UK’s finest Organisations/Institutions.
SDS are also a scanning bureau with a range of heritage scanners and digitisation equipment, including an A0 flatbed planetary scanner with various specialist book/tome cradles to protect precious books.
Our USP is to provide expert and secure scanning solutions, proficient indexing and capture of any meta data combined with a secure cloud-based eDocMan website solution. All websites are designed within the full corporate identity of the client.

What documents does it include?

DiscoverMacpherson includes the Report of the Inquiry, with Appendices, as well as transcripts of the testimony of 90 witness across 59 days of hearings in Part 1 (which was devoted specifically to examining the police investigation). With this are the report of the Police Complaints Authority investigation (‘the Kent Report’) which preceded the public inquiry, and the lengthy closing submission by the Metropolitan Police Service, giving its perspective. We also have the full text of Brian Cathcart’s detailed 1999 book, The Case of Stephen Lawrence. (The author and the publisher, Penguin Books, have both waived copyright so that this can be included.)

How do I navigate all of this?

For those not familiar with the case we have supplied a short introduction, with links to key documents. There is also a Who’s Who to help identify the principal people involved. If you want to consult one observer’s account of the events of 1993-99, go to The Case of Stephen Lawrence, which may provide useful context and narrative thread.

There are also two ways to search content across the site...

Search All
The Search All provides an easy-to-use method of efficiently searching across all data on the website. Simply enter a search query and all relevant records will be returned.
Searching also covers the body text of all records, and so an extract of each record can be included in the results, which helps give context to where your search query was found.

Themed Search
The Themed Search enables a more precise way to search across the website, for when you know exactly what you're looking for. A single set of data can be chosen, and then results are restricted to those records only.
Additional filters are also available in comparison to the Search All, which provide the ability to search individual fields within each record.

Are these all of the Macpherson Inquiry papers?

No. The National Archives hold substantial files of additional documents relating to the Inquiry, including submissions and correspondence. Also there are transcripts of the short Part 2 of the Inquiry, which addressed general issues of race and policing and which held sessions at various locations around the UK. We would like to add these and other papers to DiscoverMacpherson.com to make it more complete, but for that we need additional resources. If you can help with this, or if you have comments on or problems with the site, please get in touch.

Where can I find out more about the case and its place in British and Black history?

You can learn more and engage with Stephen Lawrence’s legacy through the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre at De Montfort University in Leicester, which is dedicated to honouring his life and his family’s ongoing pursuit of justice. The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation seeks to inspire a more equitable, inclusive society and to foster opportunities for marginalised young people in the UK. Stephen Lawrence day is marked on the anniversary of his death, 22 April.

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