Family and Community Historical Research Society

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School Log Books Project "School and Community 1862-1934"

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Academic Oversight: Professor Michael Drake, (OU); Professor Ruth Finnegan, (OU); Professor Steve King (Leicester) and Dr. Donna Loftus (OU)

Project Leader Don Dickson - Project Coordinator Brita Wood


A school log book was the headmaster's record of daily activities within the school and log books were obliged to be kept from 1862. Although they were supposed to refrain from making personal comments, correspondents often wrote the entries in a log book as they would a personal diary. This team research project is a development arising from a personal micro study undertaken by Don Dickson, FACHRS member, in 1998 to study the usefulness of School Log Books in evaluating the impact of a local school upon a community and the impact of the community's needs upon the school. The work was presented at a FACHRS conference in 2005. The FACHRS organising committee considered the research and agreed to support the project on a wider scale. A pilot project has tested the sources and methods and a full project is now underway. The project is expected to last two to three years and applications to join the project are welcome from any person who would like to take part.

The original work evaluated three small agricultural communities in Cheshire and the current proposal is to build upon that original study by evaluating a range of school log books and their corresponding communities from all over the British Isles.

The research project continues the FACHRS tradition of undertaking academic research outside the walls of the University whereby the Society members and Local Historians contribute to the study through the collection of data.

Society members, other academic researchers, family historians and local historians are encouraged to take part in this project that will use a choice of the Microsoft Access(TM) database application or the Microsoft Excel(TM) workbook application to record collected data. A template for data collection is provided to all researchers. We are encouraging as many people as possible to take part and have introduced three ways to help the project ...more about ways to take part.

The outcome of the pilot exercise (PDF document) was presented at the 2009 Annual Conference and the project is now being prepared for Nationwide launch with initial results targeted for conference 2010. Individual researchers within the project will be invited to submit papers for publication in the first on an occasional series to be published by FACHRS. You can Register now for the full project.

A further objective is to develop a reference portal for School Log Books on the Internet whereby local historians and family history researchers will be able to search for information on a specific school log book. Such a reference database will take some time to develop and is regarded as a continuum project. You can watch an online video for more information

To request further information please use the following email address slb project email address

Now you can apply online! We have introduced an online registration form Register for Project

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FACHRS 2009

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