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Bringing the Rowntree Leisure Time Interviews to Life’

Rowntrees factory workers on holiday.

Welcome to 'Bringing the Rowntree Leisure Time Interviews to Life!

This digital exhibition is the culmination of a Humanities Research Centre Jane Moody Scholarship Project (2021) led by History PhD student Rachel Feldberg, in collaboration with The Rowntree Society and the Borthwick Institute for Archives. During the project Rachel was mentored by Dr Guy Schofield from the School of Arts and Creative Technologies, and had input from community groups associated with The Rowntree Society.

Inspired by real-life interviews with ordinary people in post-war Britain, which formed the raw material for Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree’s study of English Life and Leisure (1951), Rachel has created a series of nine innovative, digital performances. The unique archives on which the performances are based, held at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, document interviewees’ working lives, religious and political beliefs, leisure activities, sexual practices, romantic relationships, and hopes and worries for the future in the late 1940s.

You can explore the exhibition using the options below.