Until recently, most of the primary source material relating to the Borden Murders and the Lizzie Borden trial were unavailable, difficult to come by, or too expensive to own. For instance, until late 2001, in order to obtain a copy of the trial transcript, one had to write to the Superior Court of Massachusetts and obtain written permission to order a microfilm copy from the Boston Public Library. After a fee of $78, the reels would at last be yours, but in order to read the 1,900+ scratchy pages contained on the two thick spools, you still had to locate a microfilm reader and pay as much as 50 cents a page to print them out.
A CD-ROM copy of the trial was for sale for several years, mostly on eBay, but this copy of the trial was reproduced in TIFF format, a massively unwieldy method to view the work. In addition, this version perfectly reproduced every scratch and blur from the microfilm reels (since TIFF files are essentially photographs of the pages) and as many as 24 of the trial pages were missing.
All of these problems became a thing of the past when Harry Widdows sat down and transcribed the entire trial into a word processing program. Finally, a searchable format was made available of this all-important document — and for free!
The work of Harold Widdows, Terence Duniho, and Stefani Koorey has been instrumental in making this portion of the Lizzie Andrew Borden Virtual Museum and Library possible. Their transcriptions of the Trial, the Police Witness Statements, the Inquest, and the last wills of Lizzie and Emma Borden and John Morse are here now for the taking at no charge. In addition, PDF versions of many of the early essays and books on the case (including those by Edmund Pearson and Edwin Porter) are available in the Resources area of this site. A PDF version of the Preliminary Hearing, transcribed by Widdows and Koorey, is available for sale at a modest price — please visit the Lizzie Borden Gift Shop section of the Lizzie Andrew Borden Virtual Museum and Library for details.
Because Volume I of the Inquest is currently lost to us, Lizzie Borden’s inquest testimony is reproduced here as an exact transcription of The Evening Standard, New Bedford, MA, June 12, 1893, Monday Evening Edition, p. 8 plus 2 unnumbered supplement pages. It was created by Terence Duniho and Stefani Koorey while writing their article “Will the Real Inquest Testimony of Lizzie Borden Please Stand Up” (Lizzie Borden Quarterly: Oct. 2001).