A while back I discovered my GG grandmother Mary KENNEDY [nee MCCOOK] had been in gaol a few times. This led me to wonder about whether or not she may have had a 'mug shot' taken at any time. This in turn led me to searching on the net for 19th century mug shots.
I found a few fantastic ones taken here in New Zealand and on the Police Museum's website
These are so intensely interesting when considering the 'bigger picture'. Thinking about what they were charged with, how they were dressed, the pose they were made to take in the photo, what caused them to get to that circumstance.
I must get around to finding out if my Mary KENNEDY had a mug shot....
Here are some more links to historical mugshots:
Criminal faces of North Shields - the men [England]
Criminal faces of North Shields - the women [England]
Faces of crime gone by [England]
Mugshots archived [Flickr group - worldwide, includes photos in previous links]