Rarely seen police files are revealing the stories of immigrants who settled in West Yorkshire - and the politically incorrect language used by officers to describe them.
Archivists have spent seven months cataloguing almost 3,000 ‘alien registration cards’ from Leeds City Police, covering immigrants who registered in the Leeds area between about 1850 and 1960.
The police notes contain harrowing testimony as well as colourful language used by officers to sum up the immigrants.
One unfortunate soul is labelled a “dim-witted peasant”, another a “self-opinionated Jew” and one an “unintelligent type”.
A total of 2,576 files are now open to the public, with a further 200 with limited access because of sensitive information - such as medical records - or because the person may still be alive.
“This collection is amazing and quite unique,” says archivist David Morris.
“Cards like this normally have a shelf-life and are then destroyed once the person becomes a naturalized citizen. They contain the names, ages, occupations and other details of people from many different countries, including Germany, Romania, Poland, Russia, Italy, France, Yugoslavia and America.
“They cover quite a time span. The ones now in the public domain are of people born over 100 years ago. The ones we have kept back are people who could still be alive.
“Some of the stories are uplifting because the person has hidden away from the authorities and made it out, though sadly on their own.”