Papers of Harold and Pamela Silver

Scope and Content

Research material for 'An Educational War on Poverty' including: audio-cassettes of 41 taped interviews and some manuscript interview notes, 1981-1982; published and unpublished reports, articles and research papers relating to educational programmes and initiatives in the United States and Britain, 1950s-1980s; correspondence and papers (mainly photocopies) of A.H. Halsey and Michael Young relating to the National Educational Priority Area Projects, 1967-1972; articles, reports and correspondence relating to the report of the Central Advisory Council for Education (England) Committee of Enquiry into Primary Education, Children and Their Primary Schools (The Plowden Report), including some papers of Maurice Kogan, 1963-1987.

Administrative / Biographical History

Harold Silver (b.1928) has written researched and written extensively on educational history and policy. He and his wife, Pamela, have also collaborated on research projects and co-authored articles, reports and books. Between 1980 and 1983 Harold Silver, then Principal of Bulmershe College Reading, and Pamela Silver undertook a research project funded by the Social Science Research Council entitled, 'British and American educational strategies against poverty in the 1960s and 1970s'. This work was expanded in subsequent years and the results were eventually published as An Educational War on Poverty: American and British Policy-making, 1960-1980 (Cambridge University Press, 1991). This book analysed the role of education in the American 'war on poverty' from 1964, and in Britain from the appointment of the Plowden Committee on primary schools. It examined attempts in the two countries to use education to break the 'cycle of disadvantage'. During the course of their research, the Silvers not only drew on a large number of written sources, but also conducted taped interviews with a wide range of individuals, such as educationists and policy-makers, in both the United States and Britain.


Originally the collection was roughly arranged into several categories, home economics/home Economics Curriculum development; exam papers; health education; child development; degree courses including Reynolds' dissertation; reports/courses by Reynolds; ILEA lower school projects. These categories were retained though rearranged slightly and renamed. There were two categories of exam papers, general home economics and child development courses therefore they were placed under 'home economics curriculum development' and 'Preparation for Parenting' series.

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.

Acquisition Information

This material was received from the Economic and Social Research Council Qualitative Data Archival Resource Centre (Qualidata), University of Essex in 1999.

Other Finding Aids

Electronic and paper catalogues.

Archivist's Note

Used IoE online catalogue and 2002 Genesis description. Submitted to Archives Hub as part of the Genesis 2009 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Geographical Names