The Opie archive: exploring play in Britain from the 1950s to the 1980s


  • Bodleian Library

Project summary

This project focuses on the archive of internationally renowned folklorists Iona (b.1923) and Peter Opie (1918-1982). The Opies' landmark publications about a variety of games and forms of play were based on information contributed by some 20,000 children from schools all over Britain, in response to three surveys conducted 1950-80. At present, the Opie collection can only be searched by physically looking through the papers, which are vulnerable to damage through mishandling or misfiling. We will unlock the archive's full potential by creating a catalogue and physically preparing it for future digitisation.