Child health and welfare: enabling access to the Save the Children archives


  • Special Collections

Project summary

Health and welfare of children is the guiding principle of Save the Children, the charity established by sisters Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton. Its objectives are to: preserve children’s lives; relieve children’s distress; promote child welfare; and improve the conditions of children’s life. Jebb’s Children’s Charter, drafted in 1922, evolved into the Convention on the Rights of the Child as adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989.

This two-year project focuses on cataloguing and preserving the Save the Children archive (1919–2002), held at the University of Birmingham. The archive comprises 2,000 boxes of printed material, including minutes, project reports and publications. They document the charity’s work in child health, nutrition and well-being.

We aim to create a fully searchable electronic catalogue. This will reveal the full research potential of this collection. We will establish an ongoing programme to catalogue files once they are more than 25 years old. We will also preserve thousands of photographs and transparencies by repackaging them.