Olive Stevenson, social worker and academic, born 13 December 1930; died 30 September 2013
I have been continuously involved in practice, research and teaching in the field of social work since 1954. How did I get there?
I was born in South Croydon in 1930, the youngest child of Irish Protestant parents who emigrated from Dublin in 1920 when the Republic of Eire was established. My father had been a civil servant in Dublin under British authority who feared discrimination at the time of the change of government. My parents brought with them my father’s daughter by his first marriage. His first wife had died of TB as did his daughter when I was five. My brother, who was 7 years older than I, was a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm for most of the war years.
Looking back, it is clear that from an early age, I was fascinated by the people –relatives, lodgers , relatives around me and sought in some way to make sense of their lives. Reading English Literature at Oxford enriched this search for understanding and two long vacations as an undergraduate, working at the Mulberry Bush School near Witney which cared for profoundly disturbed children, channelled my interest towards some form of therapeutic intervention From this, I went to the LSE where I took the course in “Child Care” social work in 1953.My tutor was Clare Winnicott.
My published work has been weighted towards child welfare; however, there are also a significant number of publications relating to care of vulnerable adults, social work and social work education generally, and interprofessional work in these fields. Of particular concern to me since the 1970s has been the issue of child protection/safeguarding which arose from my being a member of the inquiry into the death of Maria Colwell in 1973. (She was killed by her stepfather). This was a momentous event in the history of social work and allied professionals in this country. It has been followed by hundreds of ‘Serious Case Reviews’ into the deaths or serious injuries to children where maltreatment is alleged and has had profound consequences for social work. I have been involved in many such inquiries, in one way or another. In recent months these issues have received widespread national publicity.
However, from the 1980s, I have also been keenly aware of the predicament of some vulnerable elderly people. This was consolidated by a period as Chair of Age Concern, England. From the late 80s, there has been growing awareness of the issues surrounding the protection of vulnerable adults generally. I have also been involved in research in this field and have published widely on the topic.
I have travelled a good deal in Europe and the Far East.as lecturer ,consultant and related activities. In parallel ,I have supervised a significant number of overseas students, mostly for Ph Ds. Of particular interest have been my close links with China and Hong Kong, through a close association with the Poly- University of HK. (See Photos). I was involved in the resurgence of social work in China , after many years in which it was banned and played an active part in its early development. There are now more than 100 Social Work courses across China.
There are three main reasons for establishing this website. The first is to place on line a substantial amount of my published and unpublished work since 1954. Much of the former is out of print and many conference papers dealing with broad trends in social work were unpublished. Much of this material is now on the website and there may be more to follow.The documents have not been edited and present a historical record, warts and all, of my thoughts and feelings during those years.I believe there is material which will be of interest to those seeking to learn more of the history behind where we are now. So I hope that these papers will provide a resource for those who are interested in the development of social work over some fifty years
The second reason is that I am at present working on a memoir which I will probably put on the site, hopefully in 2010.
The third reason for the site is to contribute to the debate about present day social work.
When I trained as a social worker in 1953, hopes were high for the emergence of a profession which would make a significant contribution to the well-being of children in need. Subsequently, such aspirations were extended more widely to include the wellbeing of many kinds of people in difficulty.
For a number of reasons, which I have charted in my writings, this optimism has been dimmed over the past fifty-plus years. I believe that there is an urgent need to recapture ‘the vision’ and the ethical basis for social work. Without those, we are lost in tangles of bureaucracy and in anxious and despairing feelings about the tasks which must be undertaken.
Social work is extremely complicated work. I believe that those who practice, research or teach it can only do so effectively if they seek to understand and utilise the interplay of mind and feelings in themselves and others.
During 2008 and 2009, despite some terrible events, there have been a number of indications that ,at last, the problems facing social workers are beginning to receive more sophisticated political and professional attention. There now seems to be a possibility of real change, provided social workers can organise themselves effectively. They need to be proactive as well as reactive. The plans for a national college may offer a launching pad for the renewal
When I set up the site, I thought it might be a chance to learn to blog! But I confess that I don’t feel comfortable with the chatty immediacy of it . So I am changing the invitation to a more personal one. I should be very pleased to receive by Email any reflections you may have about the content of the site or social work more generally, including the educational aspects. The format of the site has been changed accordingly. From such exchanges, it is possible that ideas for future action might be generated.
Olive Stevenson OLIVE STEVENSON, CBE, D. Litt, MA (Oxon)
PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF SOCIAL WORK, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM Recent and Current Activities include:
− Neglect as an aspect of elder abuse
− Interactions of birth parents and relatives with foster parents and children
− Chairing project on fostering
− 2004 to present day, consultations for Kingston University
− Supervision/consultation for experienced practitioners in health and social care − PHd supervision
− Links with Poly-University of Hong Kong and University of Beijing (Peking)
− Preparation of professional memoir
Degrees and Diplomas etc.:
2005 Honorary D.Litt, University of Kingston
1996 Honorary D.Litt, University of East Anglia
1992 Litt.D, University of Nottingham
1959 – 60 Advanced course in Social Casework, Tavistock Clinic
1952 – 54 Social Studies Diploma, Child Care Diploma (with distinction), London School of Economics 1949 – 52 MA. English Language and Literature, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
2004 - present Honorary Professor, University of Kingston
2004 - present Honorary Professor, Poly-University of Hong Kong
1995 - 2008 Contracts with University for supervision of doctoral students and consultation on research
1986 - 1991 Head of School of Social Studies, University of Nottingham
1984 – 1994 Professor of Social Work Studies, University of Nottingham
1976 – 1983 Professor of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Keele
1970 - 2008 Professorial Fellow, St. Anne’s College
1968 – 1970 (seconded as Social Work Adviser, Supplementary Benefits Commission)
1961 – 1976 Lecturer, then Reader (1970) in Applied Social Studies, University of Oxford
1959 – 1961 Lecturer in Social Work, Bristol University (1959-1960), held jointly with Susan Isaacs Research Fellowship 1954 – 1958 Child Care Officer, Devon County Council
Teaching and Research Interests:
− The personal social services, with particular reference to child and adult protection − Looked after children
− The care of vulnerable elderly people
− Interagency and interprofessional cooperation in child welfare
Selected professional and academic information from 1980
2007-present Member, Editorial Board of China Journal of Social Work
2006-2007 Chair, Steering Group, Tavistock and East London, Centre for Social Work Practice.
2006-2007 Member, Case Review for Nottinghamshire Mental Health Trust.
2004-2008 Chair, Advisory Committee re project in independent fostering agency, “Fostering Options”.
2004–2006 Supervisor, funded research project on difficulties encountered by ‘whistle blowers’.
2003 Appointed Honorary Professor, Poly-University of Hong-Kong
2002-2005 Supervisor, funded research project on children with learning disabilities who abuse others.
2002-2004 Research director for (Nuffield Foundation) funded project on the sexual abuse of elderly women. Report completed.
2000-2002 Director, research project (Nuffield Foundation) on use of case conferences in protection of vulnerable adults. Report completed.
2000-2001 Consultant, Hertfordshire Social Services.
2000 Appointed Honorary Professor, University of Kingston
1999-2003 Chair, Serious Case Review concerning a residential establishment for children and vulnerable adults. Report confidential.
1989-1999 Mentor for Guardian ad Litem. (CCETSW advanced award)
1997-2000 Chair: Area Child Protection Committees: Cambridge, Peterborough, Leicester City, Leicester County.
1997-present Consultant, designated child protection paediatricians.
1996 Evaluator for EC TIDE research programme, concerning elderly and disabled people.
1996 Awarded Emeritus Leverhulme Fellowship for work on neglect in child abuse.
1995 Visiting Professor to The School of Social Work Hebrew University, Jerusalem; lectures and seminars on child welfare, social care of elderly people and social security. 1995-1999 Series Editor: Working together for children and families. (Blackwells).
1995-2007 Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Child & Family Social Work.
1995-1996 Consultant, Beth Johnson Foundation, Staffordshire.
1994-1998 Chair, Nottinghamshire Area Child Protection Committee.
1994 Awarded CBE in Queens Birthday Honours.
1993-1997 Chair, Care & Repair.
1992-1996 Visiting Lecturer & Consultant, University of Peking (Annual visits).
1992-1995 Director, ESRC funded research project on Child Abuse.
1992-1993 Co-ordinator of ESRC Research Initiative on Ageing.
1991-1995 Member ‘COST A5’ Committee on Science & Technology (Elderly People), and Board Member, European Commission (ESRC representative).
1991-1992 With Professor Parsloe (Bristol University) funded by Rowntree Foundation to undertake an enquiry into aspects of new Community Care Act.
1991 Consultant, Open University on new course in Community Care.
1990-1991 Consultant, London Borough of Camden, Social Services Department.
1990 Chair, committee of inquiry into the death of Stephanie Fox in London Borough of Wandsworth.
1989 Consultant, Western Board Health and Social Services, Northern Ireland.
1988 Training adviser, Cumbria Social Service Department, reorganisation of Personal Social Services.
1987-1990 Director, child abuse project (multi-disciplinary cooperation in child abuse work: funded by DHSS).
1985 Consultant and Training Advisor, Doncaster Social Services Department on services to elderly people. 1985-1988 Chair, Council for Voluntary Service, National Association.
1984-1989 Member, Registered Home Tribunal
1984-1986 Member of Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work.
1983-1984 Adviser to Liverpool Panel for Guardians ad Litem.
1982-1983 Consultant to London Borough of Wandsworth on services for elderly people in the Borough. (Report presented to Committee November 1983).
1983 Visiting Fellow, University of Perth, Western Australia
1983-2000 Member, Social Security Advisory Committee
1982-1985 Member, Education College of Occupational Therapists.
1980-1983 National representative for preparation of international report on interprofessional cooperation in primary health care. (Sponsored by European Centre for Social Welfare and WHO. Visits to Sweden and Vienna. Member of Board for final report).
1980-1983 Chairperson, Age Concern England.
1980 Australian lecture tour, primarily to give keynote paper at centennial celebrations of Sydney Children’s Hospital, Camperdown (British Council Fellowship).
1978-1983 Chairperson, Advisory Committee on Rent Rebates and Rent Allowances (Department of Environment).
1979-1982. Member, Royal Commission on Compensation for Personal Injury.
In this section you can download files comprising of my published and unpublished work. Please see below for further details and links.
Published works are listed below. Some of the articles/chapters, mostly pre-1980, are available for download (as a PDF) directly:
Published works - 1960s - Olive Stevenson
2007 Neglected Children and their Families , 2nd Ed. Blackwell. (1st ed. 1998)
1998 Ed. & contributor: Child Welfare in the United Kingdom. Blackwell
1993 Community Care & Empowerment . (With Parsloe). Joseph Rowntree Foundation/Community Care
1989 Ed Child Abuse: public policy/professional practice . Wheatsheaf. Two Chapters: ‘Reflections on Social Work Practice.’ Chap. 7 p. 145 – 172 and ‘Multi-disciplinary work In Child Protection’. Chap. 8 p. 173 – 203.
1988 Age and Vulnerability: a guide to better care. Edward Arnold
1983 Policies programmes and disadvantage. (With Fuller). Heinemann.
1981 Specialisation in Social Service Teams. Allen & Unwin
1981 The Notion of Expertise.pdf, pp 48 - 59, In Specialisation in Social Services Teams, Stevenson and Hill. George Allen and Unwin
1978 Social Service Teams: the practitioner’s view. Parsloe, Stevenson et al. HMSO
1972 Claimant or Client? A social worker’s view of the Supplementary Benefits Commission. Allen & Unwin
1964/1977 Someone Else’s Child: a book for foster parents. Routledge Kegan Paul. 2nd Ed. Revised.
Selected articles/chapters from 1960:
2007 In Ed. Paoletti. Family Care Giving for Older Disabled People. Relational and institutional issues. With Jeary. Nova Science Pubs. New York.
2008 In Journal of Adult Protection. Neglect as an aspect of the mistreatment of elderly people. Vol.10.1. Feb.pp 24-35
2007 In Eds James and Wilson. Child Protection Handbook. ‘Where are we now’ – concluding chapter. Balliere Tindall.
2006 In Ed. Bower. Thinking Under Fire. Foreword. Routledge
2005 In Eds. Taylor and Daniel. Practice Issues for Health and Social Care. Working Together in Cases of Neglect. Jessica Kingsley
2005 Editor. Special Ed. Child and Family Social Work. Vol. 10. Issue 3. Blackwell
2005 In British Journal of Social Work. Genericism and Specialisation: the story since 1970. Vol. 35. No. 5. Oxford University Press
2003 In Eds Lymbery and Butler. Social Work Ideals and Practice Realities. The Future of Social Work. Palgrave MacMillan.
2000 In Ed. Charles, M and Hendry, E Eds. Training together to safeguard children. Chap. The mandate for inter-agency and interprofessional work and training. Pp. 5-13.
1999 Elder Protection in Residential Care, What can we learn from child protection.pdf
1999 Old People at Risk.pdf pp 210 - 216, In: Risk Assessment in Social Care and Social Work, ed. Parsloe P., JKP
1999 Growing Older - What is it like?.pdf
1999 The Protection of Vulnerable People from Abuse - Moral and Professional Dilemmas.pdf
1998 In Child and Family Social Work. It was more difficult than we thought. Vol. 3. Issue 3. Blackwell.
1997 30 years of services to children in need of care - What have we learnt for tomorrow?
1996 Elder Protection in the Community - What can we Learn from Child Protection?
1996 (In Hebrew): 3 lectures on Social Welfare, delivered in Jerusalem: published by Hebrew University.
1996 In: Theory, Policy and Practice of Community Care (In Mandarin), ‘Community Care: concepts and theories’. pp 20 – 28. University of Peking, Beijing.
1996 In Child & Family Social Work, ‘Emotional Abuse and Neglect: a time for reappraisal’. Vol. 1. Issue 1. Jan pp. 13-18 Blackwells.
1996 In: The Abuse of Care, edited by Clough, R. ‘Concluding Reflections’. pp 172 – 178. London: Whiting and Birch.
1996 Old People's Empowerment.pdf pp 81 - 92, In, Pathways to Empowerment, ed. Parsloe P. Venture Press
1995 In Proceedings of the International Conference on Family and Community Care. ‘The Problems of Vulnerable Children and Adults’ pp 27-30. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Council of Social Services.
1995 In Ed. James A. and Wilson K. Handbook of Child Protection. ‘Case Conferences in Child Protection’, pp 227 – 241. Bailliere Tyndale.
1995 ‘What is the future for social work?’ In Social Work in the mid-1990s – caring with confidence. 11 pages, BASW.
1994 Child Protection: Where Now for Inter-professional Work?.pdf In Going Inter-professional, Working Together for Health and Welfare, pp 123 – 135. Routledge
1994 In Ed. Leatheard A. Going Inter-Professional. Working Together for Health & Welfare. ‘Child Protection: where now for interprofessional work’ pp 123 – 136. Routledge.
1994 Social Work in the 1990s: Empowerment, Fact or Fiction?.pdf pp 170 - 189 In Social Policy Review. SPA
1994 In Ed. Page R. and Baldwin J. Social Policy Review 6, Social work in the 1990s: empowerment, fact or fiction? In Ed. Social Policy Association pp 170 – 189
1994 Evetts J. Women & Career: Themes and Issues in Advanced Industrial Societies; Paid and Unpaid Work Women who care for adult dependents. Pp 87-99, Longman
1993 Case Management: Does Social Work have a Future?
1993 Ed. Hobman D. ‘Uniting generations’. Informal social Care; implications for formal care pp 69 – 83. Age Concern
1993 Informal Social Care and Its Implications for Formal Care.pdf pp 69 – 83. Uniting Generations. Age Concern
1992 In Child Abuse Review. Vol. 1 No April 1992. Social Work Intervention, pp. 19-32.
1991 (with M. Charles) Multidisciplinary is Different! Child Protection Working Together. Vol. 1 ‘The process of learning and training’. Vol. II ‘Sharing perspectives’ Nottingham University.
1990 Report on the death of Stephanie Fox. Wandsworth Borough Council. (with Lynch)
1989 Taken from Home.pdf, pp 155 - 180 In The Values of Change in Social Work, Ed Shardlow. Tavistock
1989 Empowerment and Opportunity.pdf
1989 What does Training have to offer to Interpersonal Work? pp. 6 – 14 In The Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse, NSPCC.
1988 Law and Social Work Education. In Issues in Social Work Education pp 31-37, Vol. 8, no. 1.
1988 Multi-disciplinary work - where next?.pdf
1988 Practice Issues Arising from Enquiries.pdf
1988 The Next Twenty Years - Can Community Care be a Reality?.pdf
1987 Implications of recent child care research for future organisation of services, pp 10-20. In Creative Social Work with Families. BASW.
1986 Women in Old Age - reflections on policy and practice.pdf
1986 In British Journal of Social Work. Guest Editorial – Jasmine Beckford Inquiry.
1986 The personal social services, pp 98-126, In Defence of the Welfare State ed. Wilding, Manchester University Press.
1985 Education for Community Care.pdf
1985 Elderly people and visual impairment.pdf
1985 The Changing Role of Social Service Departments.pdf
1983 Research and Policy in the personal social services pp 22-53, In Improving Social Intervention, (ed) Gandy, Robertson and Sinclair, Croom Helm.
1983 Reflections on the Barclay Report: a review article, pp 235-245, Journal of Social Policy, Vol. 12, Part II.
1981 Substitute Care: aspects of research and policy pp 1-6, In Association of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Newsletter No. 7.
1981 Caring and Dependency pp 128-142, In the Impact of Ageing, (ed) Hobman, Croom Helm.
1981 It's time to be all.pdf
1981 The Issues in Context.pdf, pp 13 - 47, In Specialisation in Social Services Teams, Stevenson and Hill. George Allen and Unwin
1981 The Notion of Expertise.pdf, pp 48 - 59, In Specialisation in Social Services Teams, Stevenson and Hill. George Allen and Unwin
This book was a by-product of the commissioned research 'Social Service Teams'.
1980 Social Service Teams in the United Kingdom, pp 9-32, In Teamwork in the personal social services and health care. Croom Helm
1980 The Realities of a Caring Community.pdf
1978 Ageing - A professional perspective.pdf
1978 Practice: An Overview: The Social Worker's Experience of Work.pdf, pp 297 - 326, In: Social Service Teams: The Practitioner's View, eds. Parsloe P. and Stevenson O., HMSO
This research was commissioned by the (then) Department of Health and Social Security. The remit was to examine the task of the field worker within local authority social services departments and their equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland and to consider the implications for social work education'.
1978 Some Educational Implications, pp 329 - 359, In: Social Service Teams: The Practitioner's View, eds. Parsloe P. and Stevenson O., HMSO
1978 Seebohn - seven years on.pdf
1976 Some Dilemmas in Social Work Education.pdf
1976 The Development of Social Work Education.pdf pp 123-144, In Traditions of Social Policy. Basil Blackwell, Oxford
1975 Control without Custody.pdf
1973 Stigma and Need.pdf pp 13 - 37, In Claimant or Client, Stevenson. George Allen and Unwin
1973 The Exercise of Discretion.pdf pp 38 - 59, In Claimant or Client, Stevenson. George Allen and Unwin
This book was a product of time spent as a Social Worker Advisor to the Supplementary Benefits Commission. The issues remain of great significance in social policy generally, not just social security.
1972 Strengths and Weaknesses in Residential Care.pdf
1971 Knowledge for Social Work.pdf
1971 Relationships between Educators and Practitioners in Social Work.pdf
1970 Care or Control - a view of intermediate treatment.pdf
1969 Welfare - Problems and Priorities.pdf
1969 The problems of individual need and fair shares for all.pdf
1968 Specialisation within a Unified Service.pdf
1967 New Thinking about Institutional Care - Summing Up.pdf
1967 Co-ordination Reviewed.pdf pp 113-120, In Social Work and Social Values, Readings in Social Work Vol. III Compiled by Eileen Younghusband. George Allen and Unwin
1966 Social Work and Training - The Next Phase.pdf
1964 The Challenge of Family Social Work Today.pdf
1964 Intuition and Involvement in Social Work.pdf
1963 The Understanding Caseworker.pdf
1963 The Skills of Supervision - A study of teaching method.pdf
1963 Reception Into Care - its Meaning for all Concerned.pdf
1963 Co-ordination Reviewed - Case Conference.pdf
1962 Maintaining the Links - Our Role with Parents.pdf
1961 Integration of Theory and Practice in Professional Training.pdf
The papers listed below are all previously unpublished. All are available for download directly:
Unpublished works - 1960s - Olive Stevenson
2009 - Direct work with children: the relevance of Clare Winnicott's teaching to contemporary social work practice
2009 - Responses to “anti –social youth : Does Donald Winnicott have messages for us today?” (The Squiggle Foundation)
2004 - Child Welfare in England Today - what would Clare Winnicott say?.pdf
2003 - Safeguarding Children - critical factors in success and failure.pdf
2001 - The Protection of Vulnerable People from Abuse.pdf
1997 - Child Welfare in the UK - exercise of professional judgements by social workers.pdf
1997 - Recent Research in Child Welfare - implications for policy and practice.pdf
1996 - When Practice Shapes Policy-Lessons from User-Friendly projects (Jerusalem).pdf
1995 - People First in Health & Welfare Reforms.pdf
1994 - What is the Future for Social Work.pdf
1993 - Case Management - Does Social Work have a Future?.pdf
1990 - Relationships in Old Age - how does the Community Care?.pdf
1989 - Empowerment and Opportunity.pdf
1989 - Choice In Old Age - nighmares, dreams and realities.pdf
1988 - Practice Issues Arising from Enquiries.pdf
1987 - Welfare Pluralism - introduction to discussion at PSI seminar.pdf
1987 - The Changing Face of Local Action.pdf
1987 - Domiciliary Care Services - some issues and problems.pdf
1985 - The Changing Role of Social Service Departments.pdf
1981 - Honorary Degree Citation - Jack Ashley (Keele University).pdf
1980 - Social Care - the task and the training.pdf
1980 - Family Patterns and Problems in the 1980s.pdf
1979 - Training, Organisation and Professionalism.pdf
1979 - The Family & Child Care - Some Facts & Fantasies.pdf
1979 - Grandparents and Grandchildren.pdf
1979 - Family Patterns in the 1980s - A professional perspective.pdf
1978 - Social Work within the context of Social Policy - 20 Years of Uncertainty.pdf
1976 - Specialisation in the Personal Social Services.pdf
1970 - Society's Response to the New Poor.pdf
1970 - Intermediate Treatment.pdf
The following comments by social work students on the Oxford social work course were made at a time when I was seconded to a post in London. Hence the reply is by Juliet Cheetham who was running the course. They are included here as an interesting example of student involvement and a good dialogue between staff and students:
1969 - Comments on the Course by Second Year Social Workers.pdf
1969 - Comments on the Critique of the Social Work course - 1960s.pdf
1967 - The Role of the Social Worker in the Child Care Service.pdf
1967 - Barton Playgroup - Social Work Course (Oxford).pdf
1960 - Lecture, Chapter 1, Towards Understanding Families.pdf
1960 - Lecture, Chapter 2, Family Communications.pdf
1960 - Lecture, Chapter 3, Disorganised Families.pdf
1960 - Lecture, Chapter 4, Family Relationships in the later years of life.pdf
1953 - Placement Diary, Olive Stevenson - LSE Student of Social Work (underlinings by Clare Winnicott).pdf
Olive Stevenson interviewed by Niamh Dillon, 2004-2005, Pioneers in Charity and Social Welfare, British Library Sound Archive, catalogue reference C1155/01.
“This transcript is copyright of the British Library. Please refer to the oral history section at the British Library prior to any publication or broadcast from this document.
Oral History British Library Sound Archive, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB
020 7412 7404
Olive Stevenson recorded a seventeen-hour life story interview with Niamh Dillon as part of National Life Stories Pioneers in Charity and Social Welfare project. National Life Stories was established in 1987 to ‘record first-hand experiences of as wide a cross-section of present-day society as possible’. As an independent charitable trust within the Oral History Section of the British Library Sound Archive, NLS’s key focus and expertise has been oral history fieldwork. Over the past two decades it has initiated a series of innovative interviewing programmes funded almost entirely from sponsorship, charitable and individual donations and voluntary effort. Pioneers in Charity and Social Welfare is one such project and it has benefited from funding by the J. Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust. Each collection comprises recorded in-depth interviews of a high standard, plus content summaries and transcripts to assist users. Access is provided via the Sound Archive’s online catalogue
and a growing number of interviews are being digitised for remote web use. Each individual life story interview is several hours long, covering family background, childhood, education, work, leisure and later life.