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Maureen Oswin papers

The Empty Hours book cover

Maureen Oswin (1931-2001) was a social researcher whose work truly made a difference to the lives of thousands of children. She witnessed the everyday lives of children with very severe learning disabilities living in the institutions of the 1960s and 70s and she kept meticulous records of what she observed. Her books The Empty Hours (1971) and Children Living in Long Stay Hospitals (1978), laid bare the plight of children in institutions up and down the country. The books received a huge amount of publicity and they helped fuel the drive to move children out of hospitals and ultimately to the closure of the institutions.

Maureen Oswin's archive collection was donated to The Open University. The collection contains papers of the academic and advisory work of Maureen Oswin, including her case studies, research notes, lectures and articles, regarding the treatment of children by the Health Service. There is also a collection of books, including some written by Maureen Oswin herself.

The Maureen Oswin archive collection is held at the Open University Archive, within the Library and Learning Resources Centre at the University Campus in Milton Keynes, where you will find details of the collection, including the archive catalogue and information regarding visiting the archive.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

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