Records from The University of Nottingham Department of Education's 'VoluntaryOrganisations: Citizenship, Learning and Change' study, 1991-1995

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises:

  • Files of case studies of adult learning in voluntary organisations containing correspondence between the Department of Adult Education and the organisations, printed matter relating to the organisations and the arrangement of interviews, and research interview minutes and notes. 1991-1993 (MS 653/1);
  • Files relating to the locality survey of Retford's voluntary organisations including returned questionnaires. 1992-1993 (MS 653/2);
  • File of anonymous questionnaires returned by case study voluntary bodies. 1992 (MS 653/3);
  • Printed reports published following analysis of the survey results. 1991-1995 (MS 653/4);
  • Three and a half inch floppy disk containing data files relating to the voluntary organisations survey. 1989-1995 (MS 653/5).

Administrative / Biographical History

The 'Voluntary Organisations: Citizenship, Learning and Change' study, instituted by TheUniversity of Nottingham's Department of Education, began in 1989. Its purpose was to construct atypology of local voluntary organisations by: investigating the formal and informal educationalimpact which they made on individuals, groups and communities; noting the origins andcharacteristics of good practice; and putting forward recommendations on the implications fornational and local policy and for training and development.

The study was divided into two parts: a national survey of a sample 31 case studies of localvoluntary organisations involving the completion of 831 interviews and 157 questionnaires; and aquestionnaire-based locality study of 101 voluntary organisations in the Nottinghamshire town ofRetford.

The findings of the study were published in three main works: K.T. Elsdon with John Reynolds andSusan Stewart Voluntary Organisations: Citizenship, Learning and Change (National Instituteof Adult Continuing Education and The University of Nottingham, Department of Adult Education;1995), K.T. Elsdon Adult Learning and Voluntary Organisations, in three volumes covering thecase studies 1-30 (The University of Nottingham Department of Adult Education; 1991), and JohnReynolds, K.T. Elsdon and Susan Stewart A Town in Action (The University of NottinghamDepartment of Adult Education; 1994).

The study was partly funded by the Economic and Science Research and Social Science Council(ESRC). Electronic datasets of the study's findings were prepared by Dr John Reynolds of theDepartment of Adult Education and submitted for preservation to the UK Data Archive which is also part funded by ESRC.


The collection has been divided by document type into five series. The series of case files hasbeen arranged in the order in which the surveys were conducted and subsequently published.

Conditions Governing Access

ACCESS: The collection is accessible to all registeredreaders only when advance notice is given in writing by the person wishing to use it. Some filescontain personal information and they are restricted at present.

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies of paper records can be supplied for educational use andprivate study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Other Finding Aids

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright in thedescription belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email TheDepartment will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and theresponsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishingto publish.


Custodial History

The collection was deposited by The University of Nottingham's Department of Adult Education withthe Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in August 1995.

Related Material

  • UK Data Archive: Dataset generated by these survey results from the Voluntary Organisations:Citizenship, Learning and Change study, 1991-1993. Reference: SN 3567