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Seminar 2007

Researching institutional histories

This international seminar was held on 6th July 2007 at The Open University, Milton Keynes and was preceded by the 2007 Conference Learning disability, relationships and sexuality: past and present on 5th July 2007

(Please note: there are no audio files available for this seminar.)

What was the institution and who was it for?

Pamela Dale

For all our work on institutions we seem to be getting no closer to answering the important questions what was the institution and who was it for? My ten-year research project on the Royal Western Counties Institution at Starcross keeps turning up new questions and issues rather than satisfactory answers.
Read the full abstract

First up, best dressed

Daniel Docherty

I will talk about my experiences of arriving at Calderstones, an institution for people with learning difficulties in Lancashire at the age of six.
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Working with the "Children of the darkness"

Corinne Manning

In 2005, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at La Trobe University in Australia commenced a project to document the history of one of Australia's most significant institutions for people with learning disability, Kew Cottages.
Read the full abstract (PDF)

On the same lines as those in England: British influences on an Australian institution for people with learning disabilities

Lee-Ann Monk

In 1892, Dr James McCreery described the establishment of Kew Cottages, Australia's 'first specialist institution' for people with learning disability, to a meeting of the Intercolonial Medical Congress of Australasia.
Read the full abstract (PDF)

Unlocking the Past: an institutional oral history archive

Nigel Ingham

This is a chance to look at a Community Service Volunteers project, based in Lancaster, which focuses upon the oral histories of former residents and staff of a large long stay hospital for people with learning difficulties.
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Songs of Resistance and their contribution to understanding the history of the self advocacy movement

Sue Ledger and Nigel Ingham

The purpose is to present recently discovered recordings of resistance songs, composed and sung by people with learning difficulties whilst segregated in long-stay institutions. Interviews were conducted to record songs and biographical material.
Read the full abstract

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

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