The Opie archive: exploring play in Britain from the 1950s to the 1980s (360G-Wellcome-206178_Z_17_Z)


This project focuses on the archive of internationally renowned folklorists Iona (b. 1923) and Peter Opie (1918-1982). The Opies' landmark publications were based on information contributed by some 20,000 children from schools all over Britain, in response to three surveys (c.1950–80), supplemented by the Opies’ own in-depth observation and sound recording, of a wide variety of games and forms of play. The Opie archive at the Bodleian includes the survey responses, correspondence, and the Opies’ loose-leaf research files. At present, this collection can only be searched by physically looking through the papers. It is consequently little used, even by specialists. At the same time, even limited use results in wear and tear of a collection which is vulnerable to the possibility of damage through mishandling or misfiling. Our goal is threefold: One, to unlock this archive's full potential by creating a catalogue, and physically preparing the archive for a future digitisation project, which will permit creative uses of the content without endangering the original materials. Two, to publicise the archive in its usable form to a wide range of audiences and encourage increased and diverse use. Three, detailed scoping of digitisation possibilities in collaboration with intrerested academic partners.

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Grant Details

Amount Awarded 102382
Applicant Surname Thomas
Approval Committee Research Resources Committee
Award Date 2016-11-25T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2016/17
Grant Programme: Title Research Resources Award
Internal ID 206178/Z/17/Z
Lead Applicant Ms Susan Thomas
Partnership Value 102382
Planned Dates: End Date 2018-08-01T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2017-02-01T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region South East