The Rowntree Archives: poverty, philanthropy and the birth of social science


  • Borthwick Institute

Project summary

We will arrange, describe, publicise and make available the archives of the Rowntree Trusts and the Rowntree family. We will open key 20th century archives on public health in the UK, including research about health problems caused by or related to alcohol, unemployment, housing, old age, and gambling. We will also open up key records documenting the theory and practice of relationships between employers, philanthropy, social justice and public health; providing materials for research into the birth and early development of social science in the UK.

We will establish regular transfers of records from the trusts to the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York, thereby ensuring future records can be made available to the public. We will also create fully searchable online files with links to related archives in York and elsewhere.

We hope that the archives will form the basis of research projects and our work will allow the archive to have a sustainable future.