Frances Moira MacLean Papers

Scope and Content

Papers relating to the welfare of prisoners families, child care, penal reform and education: research notes, articles, conference papers, newspaper cuttings and correspondence on campaigns for prison families and children; official prison reports for Scottish prisons; notes on visits.

Administrative / Biographical History

Frances Moira MacClean (maiden name Moira Smith) was a teacher and free-lance journalist. In 1975 she and her husband (editor of the Times Educational Supplement) were invited to visit the Special Unit for violent offenders at the Barlinnie prison in Glasgow to discuss the provision of educational facilities. Arriving at the same time as visiting families Moira MacLean learnt of their difficulties and the lack of facilities for children. She thus introduced play provision for children in the prison in 1976 and in 1988 Toybox was set up - a charity that would provide toys, books and support for children visiting prisons. She was also involved with Who Cares, a voluntary organisation working with Scotland’s children and young people with experience of care. She was interested in the impact of custodial sentences on children and families, children as offenders and research into depression. She was awarded an MBE in 1994.


Papers were kept as arranged by the depositor but, as these were largely loose, groups of papers found together were put in files for ease of listing, storage and production (listed as false files). Some journals were extracted from boxes to make a single run.

Access Information

This collection is available to researchers by appointment at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. See

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