David Canter Collection

Scope and Content

The material in this collection is derived from Professor Canter's work in the field of criminal and forensic psychology and as such reflects his interest in environmental and investigative psychology.
This Collection contains the following:

Books; Journals; Dissertations; Essay's; Theses; Research Data and Mapping; Articles on Investigative Psychology; Articles on Environmental Psychology; Police Crime Scene Reports; Police Interviews; Audio Cassettes; VHS Cassettes; Articles on Facet Theory; Articles and Reports on the King's Cross Fire; Press Cuttings on Crime; Press Cuttings on David Canter; Correspondence; Lecture notes and teaching material; TV and Radio Scripts.

Administrative / Biographical History

Professor David Canter (b. 1944) is an internationally renowned British psychologist. He is widely known for his work in ' offender profiling' creating the discipline of Investigative Psychology which has opened up thinking on the psychology of criminal actions and the ways in which such knowledge can inform police investigations and the courts. At the start of his career Professor Canter was instrumental in establishing the sub-discipline of Environmental Psychology
Professor Canter lectures widely around the world to academics, criminologists and those engaged in forensic crime. He has also provided expert evidence in diverse legal cases of international significance. Besides journalism, television and radio appearances Canter has also written and presented a six-part television series Mapping Murder, for Channel 5 which was broadcast in 2002.

He is the author of two popular books on crime: Criminal Shadows: Inside the Mind of the Serial Killer (1994) winner of the Golden Dagger and Anthony award and Mapping Murder: Walking in Killers' Footsteps (c. 2005).

Professor Canter has supervised over PhD students and numerous Masters and undergraduate students. This pedagogical role is represented in the collection which includes largely unpublished work authored by his students


The collection is organised into 15 components. These sections include: conference material; student dissertations (including student assignments, PhDs and MScs that were supervised by Canter); reports on criminal cases worked upon by Canter which have never been published; case material derived from police investigations, various data sets which included descriptions of crimes and their locations, victim statements, criminal histories etc. videos and tape recordings including interviews with offenders and victims and also Professor Canter's own television appearances. Books, journals which were either subscribed to or edited by David Canter, reprints of journal articles, books including some rare early publications on criminology.

Access Information

Open collections are available to researchers under the general terms and conditions applicable to the University of Huddersfield.Some material containing sensitive matter or personal information will be closed. Application to see closed material may be made through Professor Canter at his discretion, through the University of Huddersfield.

Acquisition Information

Transferred by Professor David Canter in 2010.

Other Finding Aids

A box list is available in the University Archive reading room.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Mainly paper based. Some material held on VHS cassettes, audio tapes and floppy disks. This material will be copied into a digital format to facilitate research access. There is also a small collection of ephemera mainly awards that have been given to David Canter from various polices forces around the world.

Archivist's Note

Collection listed and Hub description created by Ruth Cummins.

Conditions Governing Use

Under the general terms and conditions of the University of Huddersfield archive policy.Please note IPR issues may prevent some material from being copied. (eg television programme IPR will not be vested in Canter, ditto journal articles etc)

Appraisal Information

Duplicates have been removed during cataloguing. Some foreign language publications were returned to Professor Canter.

Custodial History

This collection was amassed by David Canter. It has travelled via the institutions at which Professor David Canter has held academic posts, primarily the University of Surrey and the University of Liverpool.


Accruals are expected from Professor Canter and other academic staff based in the International Research Centre for Investigative Psychology at the University of Huddersfield.