Social Science Scoping Study

Article dated: 14 March 2008

Between January and May 2007, the UKDA carried out research for the ESRC and The National Archives (TNA) relating to materials based on public records and other archival material held at TNA. The UKDA would like to thank all its users and ESRC grant-holders for responding to its questionnaire, which heavily influenced the final report. table of potato consumption from the Wartime Social Survey

A summary version of this study has now been published on the ESRC's Society Today web site. Its recommendations will assist both the TNA and ESRC in the promotion and development of archival materials for the social science community. The main recommendations of this study are already available from the UKDA web site, but the report contains a more detailed discussion of the project, and issues relating to the ways in which contemporary social scientists and historians access and use archival resources held by TNA.

The report, authored by Matthew Woollard (UKDA) and Janet Foster (The Archive-Skills Consultancy), highlights the way in which social science researchers can benefit from a greater awareness of, and greater access to social science resources at, or scheduled to be transferred to, TNA. It also calls for the ESRC to initiate research and digitisation projects to enhance some of the fascinating historical material in order to provide a longer-term historical perspective for contemporary social science research.

The illustration shows a table from the one of the Wartime Social Survey reports on changes in potato consumption.