The Peter Townsend Collection

Reference: GB 0301 TOWNSEND
Title: The Peter Townsend Collection
Dates of creation: 1952-[ongoing]
Held at: National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA), Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex.
Extent: 27 metres
Name of Creator: Professor Peter Townsend
Level of Description: fonds
Language of Material: eng


Administrative/Biographical History

After early years as Research Secretary and Research Officer of Political and Economic Planning and at the Institute of Community Studies (1952-57) Peter Townsend became Research Fellow and Lecturer at the London School of Economics (1957-63). He was appointed Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex upon its foundation in 1963. He held this post for 18 years (including three years as University Pro-Vice Chancellor, 1975-1978). Since then he has held posts in social policy and development at the University of Bristol and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He has been Chairman of the Child Poverty Action Group since 1969 and of the Disability Alliance since 1974. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of research on poverty in the United Kingdom. Townsend is presently Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Fellow of Social Policy, Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social Justice, University of Bristol and Centennial Professor of International Social Policy, LSE.

Scope and Content

The Peter Townsend Collection comprises a set of personal papers relating to his career, 1952-1996, and a series of sub-collections of papers relating to specific research projects carried out in the course of his academic career.

Personal papers, which span over forty years, concern his research and research interests, his position on various Labour Party Committees and the academic posts he has held. They include:

  • General correspondence (1953-1980)
  • Select correspondence (1956-1979)
  • Press cuttings (1952-1994)
  • University of Essex papers covering his work as Professor of Sociology (1963-1982) and as Pro-Vice Chancellor (1975-1978)
  • Talks, lectures, seminars and conference papers (1954-1988)
  • Miscellaneous thematic files encompassing issues such as deprivation, housing and community care
  • Committee papers, press cuttings and correspondence relating to the Post-Ely Hospital Government Working Party (1969-1970)
  • Labour Party correspondence and committee papers (1954-1985)
  • Papers of the Disability Alliance (1970's-1990's)
  • Papers of the Child Poverty Action Group (1965-1996)

Sub-collections or 'datasets' relating to Townsend's research projects include the following: (please note that sub-components of this EAD collection level record describe the content of datasets in further detail)

  • The Family Life of Old People
  • The Last Refuge
  • Katharine Buildings
  • Old People in Long-Stay Institutions
  • Poverty in the UK
  • Inequalities in Health

These studies relate to the period 1885 to 1995.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The collection was held by Peter Townsend as part of his personal papers until 1996. Then it was prepared for archiving by Qualidata and deposited in the NSPSCA. A life story interview with Townsend lasting 20 hours was conducted as part of the archiving project.

Appraisal, Destruction, Scheduling

In consultation with academic colleagues, the library special collections acquisitions staff evaluate collections by assessing their relevance to the teaching and research interests of the University.

Accruals

Additional material continues to be added.

Access Conditions

By written application to either the Librarian or Deputy Librarian. A letter of introduction may be required and prospective users will be obliged to sign an undertaking outlining the terms and conditions of access to the research materials.

Copyright/Reproduction

No part of the NSPSCA collections may be reproduced, published, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Albert Sloman Library. This may be obtained by application to the Librarian or Deputy Librarian.

Sub fonds for each collection stipulate further access conditions.

Confidentiality

The materials held in the collection contain personal and identifying information. It is essential that the privacy of all respondents is not infringed. No real names or any other identifiable information used in the studies may appear in public. No attempt may be made to contact respondents directly. Use of the materials to derive information relating specifically to an identified individual or to claim to have done so is prohibited.

Existence/Location of Originals

National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA), Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex.

Further Information

Finding Aids

A collection level record for all materials in the Peter Townsend data collection is available via Qualidata's online catalogue, Qualicat.

Publication Note

Townsend, P. (1979) Poverty in the United Kingdom, a Survey of Household Resources and Standards of Living, (London: Penguin Books and Allen Lane).

Townsend, P.(1962) The Last Refuge, A Survey of Residential Institutions and Homes for the Aged in England and Wales, (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul).

Townsend, P. The Family Life of Old People, (1957) (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul).

Note

Entry compiled by John Southall and Emma J. Barker of Qualidata, UK Data Archive using entries from the NSPSCA information pack and Qualidata's online catalogue.

Record entered by Nadeem Ahmad of Qualidata, UK Data Archive, University of Essex.

Reference: GB 0301 TOWNSEND/Q019

The Family Life of Old People collection

Dates of creation: 1954-1955
Held at: National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA), Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex.
Extent: 0.33 metres
Name of Creator: Professor Peter Townsend


Administrative/Biographical History

This material formed the basis for a study which examined the validity of a growing perception that a breakdown in extended family networks was leaving old people isolated and creating an increasing demand for residential care. Based primarily on interviews with a random sample, of people of pensionable age living in East London, the project demonstrated the importance of kinship in community membership.

Scope and Content

The study covers the period 1954-1955. The main part of the collection comprises 191 accounts of interviews, complete with kinship charts, stored in one archival box. These papers are sorted into thirteen files.

There are two files of eleven interviews from the pilot stage; one file of fifty six interviews with married, widowed and single men from the main survey; one file of sixty interviews with married and unmarried women from the main survey; one file of sixty four interviews with widowed women from the main survey; eight files of background material such as chapter drafts, correspondence, questionnaires and related reports.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The collection was held by Peter Townsend as part of his personal papers until 1996. Then it was prepared for archiving by Qualidata and deposited in the NSPSCA. A life story interview with Townsend lasting 20 hours was conducted as part of the archiving project.

Appraisal, Destruction, Scheduling

In consultation with academic colleagues, the library special collections acquisitions staff evaluate collections by assessing their relevance to the teaching and research interests of the University.

Accruals

No additional material is expected.

Access Conditions

By written application to either the Librarian or Deputy Librarian. A letter of introduction may be required and prospective users will be obliged to sign an undertaking outlining the terms and conditions of access to the research materials.

Copyright/Reproduction

No part of the NSPCSA collections may be reproduced, published, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Albert Sloman Library. This may be obtained by application to the Librarian or Deputy Librarian.

Professor Peter Townsend requests the right to view any work containing extensive quotation.

Confidentiality

The materials held in the collection contain personal and identifying information. It is essential that the privacy of all respondents is not infringed. No real names or any other identifiable information used in the studies may appear in public. No attempt may be made to contact respondents directly. Use of the materials to derive information relating specifically to an identified individual or to claim to have done so is prohibited.

Existence/Location of Originals

National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA), Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex.

Further Information

Finding Aids

A collection level record for all paper based materials in the Family Life of Old People data collection is available via Qualidata's online catalogue, Qualicat.

Publication Note

Townsend, P. The Family Life of Old People (1957), (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul).

Reference: GB 0301 TOWNSEND/Q020

The Last Refuge Collection

Dates of creation: 1958-1959
Extent: 0.66 metres
Name of Creator: Professor Peter Townsend


Administrative/Biographical History

This collection of interviews and associated documentation was created in a qualitative study of long-stay institutional care for old people in the mid- twentieth century; it used diaries, documentary research and face-to-face interviews with welfare officers, staff and residents. It complements the earlier study by Townsend The Family Life of Old People.

Scope and Content

The study covers the period 1958-1959. Papers are sorted into 51 files stored in two archival boxes.

Box one contains 3 files on the pilot stage; 9 files of interviews with Welfare Officers grouped by region; 11 files of interviews with owners/staff from homes for the elderly.

Box two contains 10 files of contextual information including diaries, correspondence, press releases, reports and questionnaires; 18 files of drafts of chapters for Townsend's publication The Last Refuge, including tables, analyses and printed ephemera.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The collection was held by Peter Townsend as part of his personal papers until 1996. Then it was prepared for archiving by Qualidata and deposited in the NSPSCA. A life story interview with Townsend lasting 20 hours was conducted as part of the archiving project.

Appraisal, Destruction, Scheduling

In consultation with academic colleagues, the library special collections acquisitions staff evaluate collections by assessing their relevance to the teaching and research interests of the University.

Accruals

No additional material is expected.

Access Conditions

By written application to either the Librarian or Deputy Librarian. A letter of introduction may be required and prospective users will be obliged to sign an undertaking outlining the terms and conditions of access to the research materials.

Copyright/Reproduction

No part of the NSPCSA collections may be reproduced, published, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Albert Sloman Library. This may be obtained by application to the Librarian or Deputy Librarian.

Professor Peter Townsend requests the right to view any work containing extensive quotation.

Confidentiality

The materials held in the collection contain personal and identifying information. It is essential that the privacy of all respondents is not infringed. No real names or any other identifiable information used in the studies may appear in public. No attempt may be made to contact respondents directly. Use of the materials to derive information relating specifically to an identified individual or to claim to have done so is prohibited.

Existence/Location of Originals

National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA), Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex.

Further Information

Finding Aids

A collection level record for all paper based materials in the Last Refuge data collection is available via Qualidata's online catalogue, Qualicat.

Publication Note

Townsend, P. The Last Refuge, A Survey of Residential Institutions and Homes for the Aged in England and Wales, (1962)(London: Routledge and Kegan Paul).

Reference: GB 0301 TOWNSEND/Q022

The Katharine Buildings Collection

Dates of creation: 1957-1962
Extent: 0.66 metres
Name of Creator: Professor Peter Townsend


Administrative/Biographical History

This material formed the basis for an unpublished study of the inhabitants of a building in Stepney, London. Established in 1885 as an experiment in improving working-class living conditions, the Katharine Buildings housed many descendants of the original tenants at the time of Townsend's study. Use was made of original notes and ledgers created by Beatrice Webb (nee Potter) and Ella Pycroft whilst managing the building, as well as surveys, participant observation and interviews carried out by Townsend.

Scope and Content

The study covers the period 1885- 1962. The main part of the collection comprises unpublished papers, completed questionnaires, background paperwork and copies of earlier studies undertaken in the nineteenth century. These papers are sorted into thirty six files and are stored in two archival boxes.

There is one file of manuscript drafts based on the research; one file of notes and queries relating to the research; one file of photographs and related pamphlets; one file of correspondence (1957, 1961-63); one file of references and sources; one file of biographical information; one file of correspondence between Ella Pycroft and Beatrice Webb; one file of extracts from Beatrice Webb's Diaries; one file on Housing Policy; two files of research from the 1880's; four files from Townsend's study; thirteen files from Townsend's survey of Katharine Buildings in 1957; eight files from Townsend's survey of Katharine Buildings in 1962.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The collection was held by Peter Townsend as part of his personal papers until 1996. Then it was prepared for archiving by Qualidata and deposited in the NSPSCA. A life story interview with Townsend lasting 20 hours was conducted as part of the archiving project.

Appraisal, Destruction, Scheduling

In consultation with academic colleagues, the library special collections acquisitions staff evaluate collections by assessing their relevance to the teaching and research interests of the University.

Accruals

No additional material is expected.

Access Conditions

By written application to either the Librarian or Deputy Librarian. A letter of introduction may be required and prospective users will be obliged to sign an undertaking outlining the terms and conditions of access to the research materials.

Copyright/Reproduction

No part of the NSPCSA collections may be reproduced, published, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Albert Sloman Library. This may be obtained by application to the Librarian or Deputy Librarian.

Professor Peter Townsend requests the right to view any work containing extensive quotation.

Confidentiality

The materials held in the collection contain personal and identifying information. It is essential that the privacy of all respondents is not infringed. No real names or any other identifiable information used in the studies may appear in public. No attempt may be made to contact respondents directly. Use of the materials to derive information relating specifically to an identified individual or to claim to have done so is prohibited.

Existence/Location of Originals

National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA), Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex.

Further Information

Finding Aids

A collection level record for all paper based materials in the Katharine Buildings data collection is available via Qualidata's online catalogue, Qualicat.

Reference: GB 0301 TOWNSEND/Q025

The Poverty in the United Kingdom Collection

Dates of creation: 1967-1979
Extent: 1.98 metres
Name of Creator: Professor Peter Townsend


Administrative/Biographical History

This major study was the result of fifteen years research into poverty in the United Kingdom. In 1964 the Joseph Rowntree Memorial Trust agreed to finance pilot studies on fatherless families, large families and unemployed and disabled people which were then to be followed by a national survey of poverty. In 1967-68, following the pilot work, interviews were completed with 2,052 households (6,045 people), in 630 parliamentary constituencies throughout the United Kingdom. Another 1,514 households (3,539 people), were later interviewed in four poor areas of Belfast, Glasgow, Salford and Neath to secure information about the populations of the poorest areas.

Scope and Content

The study covers the period 1965-1969. The collection comprises seventy-four files stored in 6 archival boxes. Box one contains a master research file; four files on coding data; four files of proposals and draft papers; four files of fieldwork papers. Box two contains six files of material issues to interviewers; three files of publication review; one file of personal notes and reports by Townsend. Box three contains eight files on related research pre-dating the project; four files regarding the Joseph Rowntree memorial trust; three files of meeting minutes and general correspondence. Box four contains thirty files of draft chapters from the final publication. Box five contains two files regarding publication. Box six contains four files of reports and contextual material.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The collection was held by Peter Townsend as part of his personal papers until 1996. Then it was prepared for archiving by Qualidata and deposited in the NSPSCA. A life story interview with Townsend lasting 20 hours was conducted as part of the archiving project.

Appraisal, Destruction, Scheduling

In consultation with academic colleagues, the library special collections acquisitions staff evaluate collections by assessing their relevance to the teaching and research interests of the University.

Accruals

No additional material is expected.

Access Conditions

By written application to either the Librarian or Deputy Librarian. A letter of introduction may be required and prospective users will be obliged to sign an undertaking outlining the terms and conditions of access to the research materials.

Copyright/Reproduction

No part of the NSPCSA collections may be reproduced, published, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Albert Sloman Library. This may be obtained by application to the Librarian or Deputy Librarian.

Professor Peter Townsend requests the right to view any work containing extensive quotation.

Confidentiality

The materials held in the collection contain personal and identifying information. It is essential that the privacy of all respondents is not infringed. No real names or any other identifiable information used in the studies may appear in public. No attempt may be made to contact respondents directly. Use of the materials to derive information relating specifically to an identified individual or to claim to have done so is prohibited.

Existence/Location of Originals

National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA), Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex.

Further Information

Finding Aids

A collection level record for all paper based materials in the Poverty in the United Kingdom data collection is available via Qualidata's online catalogue, Qualicat.

Publication Note

Townsend, P. (1979) Poverty in the United Kingdom, a Survey of Household Resources and Standards of Living, (London: Penguin Books and Allen Lane).