#CaseStudy

The Charles Booth Archive

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The UK National Commission for UNESCO’s case studies are a series of studies that focus on specific interactions between UNESCO’s programmes, designations and objectives and the UK

The Charles Booth Archive

PUBLISHED 25 JUNE 2020

This case study is part of the 2020 Nation Value of UNESCO to the UK Report.

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Inscribed into the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register in 2016, the Charles Booth Archive at the Library of the London School of Economics and Political Science offers unparalleled insights into social and economic life in Victorian London.

By promoting inclusive quality education and raising awareness of past and present inequalities, the Archive is a great example of how UNESCO Memory of the World inscriptions can contribute to the SDGs.

It holds the papers of industrialist and social reformer Charles Booth who conducted ‘one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging sociological surveys ever completed.’174 His 16-year-long study Inquiry into Life and Labour in London holds extensive data on the social conditions of Londoners including hand-written notebooks and detailed maps documenting poverty levels, religious influences, prostitution and migration.

The Archive runs exhibitions and has an engaging and interactive website to make Booth’s papers more accessible, raise their awareness, and engage visitors in social and economic history.

Also, most of the Archive’s collection is digitised which not only provides access to a wider audience but also encourages greater interaction with the sources. Visitors can compare Booth’s maps with those of London today, tracing the change and development that have taken place in the city over the centuries.

Search functions, references to Booth’s respective notes and detailed descriptions mean visitors can follow their own interests. The collection also demonstrates how data used to be collected and how new methodologies and techniques in the social sciences developed at the time.

This case study was a part of the 2020 National Value of UNESCO to the UK Report 

ISSN 2050-8212 (Print)

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The 2020 National Value for UNESCO to the UK Report & Programme

The National Value Report seeks to capture the economic and wider intangible value of the UK network of UNESCO designations. It finds that the network is adding significant value to our economy and society and recommends how this value can be enhanced.

The National Value of UNESCO Designations to the United Kingdom Report shows how UNESCO is bringing sites, people and communities together, and creating and delivering value for the United Kingdom. It finds that the vibrant network of UNESCO sites in the UK, its Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies are contributing in three main areas: they contribute financial value, they make a rich and creative contribution to the UK’s environment, culture and communities and contribute to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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The 2020 National Value for UNESCO to the UK Report & Programme Case Studies

The case studies that form this series illustrate these benefits to the UK that are contributed by the vibrant Network of UK UNESCO sites as found by the National Value Report; featuring financial value, academic research, environmentalism and climate change, promotion and preservation of culture, education and more.

PUBLISHED 25 JUNE 2020

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