Below you can access a variety of documents relating to the 1968/69 'Poverty in the UK' research survey and for a detailed study of large families that was part of this overall project. The documents also cover material produced for Peter Townsend's book of the survey, Poverty in the UK (1979). They cover research notes, survey design, correspondence, letters and chapter drafts for the Townsend book.
These documents provide an insight into the thinking that lay behind the study, the refinement of the research process as the study progressed, and the discussions - and, at times, disagreements - that surrounded it.
From Frank Parkin, Univeristy of Kent, August 1971
The pdfs of the original documents are contained in zipped files which group together related documents. The list of zipped files is set out below and a full description of which papers and documents are covered in each zipped file can be found in the document called 'Allocation of original Townsend documents to folders' which can be downloaded here. The zipped files can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. You can download Townsend's book, Poverty in the UK, here.
These documents cover:
The materials relating to the subject areas covered by the survey have been organised to reflect the chapters of the Townsend book. Some of the folders include drafts of the chapters. Not all of the subject areas covered in chapters of the book have documents associated with them.
There are a large number of documents around disability which are more extensive than the materials used in the Townsend book chapters on disability and disabled children (chapters 20 and 21). Peter Townsend took a particular interest in disability and contributed to numerous reports.
You will also find documents produced for the Large Families study, which was a separate research project undertaken by Hilary Land.
The allocation of these documents to these folders has been made around 45 years after the documents were originally produced. Any organisation of the documents at the time had long since gone. Some of the documents could have been allocated to different folders, so it is worth checking folders relating to similar topics. And some of the documents may have been misallocated.
There were some documents for which it was not clear what they referred to. They are in a filed named:
These materials are provided under Creative Commons License. Please credit the Townsend archive for any extracts used.
We would like to thank Hilary Land for the Large Families materials.