Disability History Resources

The National Archives has a number of resources relating to disability history:

Looking for Records of Disability History Research Guide

Podcast by Simon Jarrett: ‘He is so silly he would rather have a half pence than a shilling: discovering the history of learning disability’ 

A series of posts on their blog

The excellent BBC Radio 4 series ‘Disability: A New History is available to listen to online. There are also transcripts of each episode, and an additional gallery of images relating to disability history.

Buried in the Footnotes: The Representation of Disabled People in Museums and Gallery Collections is a report, produced by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, the University of Leicester and the Arts and Humanities Research Board in 2004.

The Royal College of Physicians curated the exhibition ‘Re-framing Disability: Portraits from the Royal College of Physicians’ in 2011. You can find out more and see the historical and contemporary images used in the exhibition on the RCPs site here. The RCP also produced a 15 minute film to accompany the exhibition, which you can watch on YouTube (BSL).

Swansea University’s Disability and Industrial Society project has a detailed website with blogs and an extensive list of resources and links.

The Surrey History Centre has a wealth of records relating to asylums and mental health. You can read more about these records and the History Centre’s work with The Freewheelers Theatre Company in a post that Julian Pooley has written for us.

The Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability in Teddington explores the social history of learning disability and Dr John Langdon Down. You can find out more about their collections, archive and projects on their website.

English Heritage has produced ‘A History of Disability: From 1050 to the Present Day‘, which explores connections between the history of disability and the built historic environment.

The Disability History Museum is a virtual collection of history and resources.

The Learning Disability History Archive is creating a collection of links, documents, resources and information. You can find out more about it on this UCL blog post.

Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability was Kept in a Box is a project and performance by Mat Fraser. You can find out more about the project and see related videos on the University of Leicester’s site here.

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