Small Town Noir by Diarmid Mogg


My own piece of photobooth small town noir.

I don’t normally publicise books about mugshots on this blog but as a minor part of my collection, they hold a level of fascination for me in much the same way as photobooth photos.


For some time now, I have been an avid follower of Small Town Noir a mugshot blog by Diarmid Mogg. Since 2009, Diarmid has collected over 1,500 mugshots, all from the same small American town, New Castle, Pennsylvania. His collection is an extraordinary set of photographs covering the middle of the 20th century, from 1930 to 1960.

Meticulous research goes into each post which shows the original police mugshot, often accompanied by newspaper clippings, birth and death records plus details of the alleged crime. Anything that can be discovered about the life of the person beyond the day of their incarceration is also included. If you love to time travel through photographs, are interested in vernacular American history or just love a good yarn, this is a blog for you. Hopefully, very soon, it will be a book for you, too.

Diarmid has for a long time wanted to pursue a published hard copy edition of his work. He has teamed up with an innovative publishing company called Unbound, which uses a crowd funding model to


produce books by proving that there’s a demand for them before the publication process starts. Diarmid continues the story –

“We’ve worked together on a proposed outline for the book, which is exactly what I’d dreamed about: 150 full-page photographs on good paper, with 70,000 words of text; the pictures arranged chronologically from 1930 to 1960, so the passage of time is evident as you flick past changing hairstyles, fashions and types of photographic film stock; with the stories building up one after the other into a fractured portrait of a particular place and time that there’s really no other way to access.”

If enough people pledge to buy the book, he can do this, so please get behind this wonderful project by clicking on this link to make it happen:

My apologies for the last post which was accidentally sent due to my inexperience with using WordPress on my iPad. Hopefully now that I am back on my desk-top, I will be more successful.

  1. I’ve seen that blog before… a lot of fun to read. Nice style of reporting. Will definitely check out the book.

    So glad to see your post and glad you are back on your desktop, Kate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ted. Pleased you already knew this blog. Diarmid is a reporter with the Scottish parliament so he is a professional writer. Can you believe no U.S. Publishers wanted it? I can’t.


  2. John said:

    Thats a great blog, thanks for the tip Katherine. Hope you are well. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. Nearly killed me getting it done but it is a fabulous blog and project. Deserves support. Hope u r doing well at your end!


      • I’m usually weary of fundraisers like this. I supported a project a friend made once and never saw anything come out of it. Kind of cooled me off.


        • Yes indeed! With this one if it is not successful you have to ask for your money back!! They don’t automatically return it or best case, don’t process it till it is definitely up. I think this one is worth supporting for me as I really want a hard copy to keep. It is an extraordinary blog.


          • I didn’t know I could get a refund on those fundraisers…ugh…You think I can get a refund 3 years after the fact? lol.
            I do think this is a worthwhile project and I will put some dough toward it ;). I LOVE mugshots and this looks like an extensive book project.


  3. That is great! Yes, the fine print is worth reading. Have you seen my other blog? It is I have only put up a couple from my collection. Doing just the one blog is almost too much for me, so it isn’t up dated very often.


  4. I was glad to read that he did a thorough research on these people beyond the information of their incarceration. Thank you for the link.

    Liked by 1 person

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