Planned Environment Therapy Archives and Special Collections

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The Planned Environment Therapy Archives and Special Collections are an internationally important collection of original materials that explore the history of therapeutic communities in schools, hospitals, prisons and residential settings.

We actively collect materials from current and former community members which tell the stories, achievements and memories of those involved with:

  • Therapeutic communities
  • Community living environments
  • Enabling environments
  • Planned environments

The Archives and Special Collections have a long history of capturing and preserving oral history recordings. We have over a thousands recordings with current and former community members, and increasing number of which are available for free via our website.

In 2010 The Archives carried out a two year Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project, Therapeutic Living With Other People’s Children: An oral history of residential therapeutic childcare, c.1930-c.1980. As a result of the project, the Archives were rewarded with the Community Archives and Heritage Group Most Impactful Archive of the Year award in 2011, and the Your Family History Magazine’s Archive of the Year award in 2013.


Alongside the main collections we also hold The National Childcare Library, an extensive resource of published materials recording the history of private and public childcare. The Library includes rare and out-of-print books, journals and pamphlets.


We welcome large and small donations from individuals and organisations relating to therapeutic care and communities as well as the history of childcare.

As part of the Archives, Special Collections and Library your materials will be preserved and made accessible to researchers, practitioners and community groups for generations to come.

We’re also interested to hear about reminiscence and history projects involving those affiliated with current or historic therapeutic communities. We’d love to work with you to support your project, offer professional archival advice, and provide a long term home for the project outputs.


Online catalouge: https://archives.mulberrybush.org.uk/

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/MBThirdSpace

This archive entry was last updated on 19/05/2020. Information incorrect or out-of-date?
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