Professor Peter Townsend (1928-2009)

Article dated: 10 June 2009

ESDS Qualidata is saddened to learn of the death of Peter Townsend.

The career of Professor Townsend was defined by significant contributions to the development of sociology as an academic discipline in the United Kingdom as well as an active commitment to tackling inequality.

His contributions to both entwined in a manner unique among academics, and ESDS Qualidata is proud to preserve both aspects of Professor Townsend's work for future researchers. This includes papers from the Disability Alliance and Child Poverty Action Group, as well as his formative classic works on care for the elderly in the Family Life of Old People, and The Last Refuge. The ESDS Qualidata collection also contains his unpublished study of working class housing in The Katharine Buildings and his immense and groundbreaking work on poverty research, culminating in Poverty in the United Kingdom.

These collections continue to attract a great deal of interest and are regularly consulted by researchers from a variety of disciplines, for example the Julia Johnson and Sheena Rolph study, 'The Last Refuge' revisited.

As an early supporter of ESDS Qualidata, Professor Townsend was invaluable in establishing a qualitative data archive. It was yet another contribution of his that makes his loss a sad occasion.
The Data Catalogue can be searched for UK Data Archive holdings related to Peter Townsend.

Further reaction to Professor Townsend's passing and his legacy: 


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