The 1968/69 survey questionnaires

All of the survey questionnaires from the Townsend ‘Poverty in the UK 1968/69 survey that had been archived, 2,516 questionnaires in total, can be accessed below.

The questionnaire came in the form of a forty page, paper-based, booklet and the field worker conducting the survey could make hand-written notes throughout. These marginal notes amplified, justified, and explained their decisions on the coding of the answers and provided additional information. In addition, at the end of the questionnaire, on pages 39 and 39a, there were two open ended questions in which the field worker had to write in the interviewees views on how they would describe poverty and what they thought could be done about it. There was also a space on page 39a for the field worker to write in any additional comments on the survey as a whole.

Examples of the types of notes made can be found in Marginal notes on the questionnaires.

In total, 135 field workers were involved with interviews taking place in all regions of England, and in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The questionnaire booklets were scanned to pdfs as part of the Paradata research project. This was undertaken in three phases. In the pilot phase, 73 questionnaires with hand-written notes in the main questionnaire (p1 to 38), as well as the required notes on p 39 and 39a, were chosen and all the pages of the questionnaire were digitised from cover to cover. In phase 2, all the remaining 594 questionnaires with hand-written notes on various pages of the questionnaire (in addition to p39/39a) were identified and the cover and all pages with hand-written notes were digitised. For phase 3, the cover and p39/39a of all 1,849 remaining questionnaires were digitised. This means that answers to the open question about causes of poverty (on p39/39a) have been captured for all the archived survey questionnaires.

The file name of each questionnaire is the questionnaire booklet serial number. The first digit of this number comes from the geographical region in which the survey was conducted and the next two digits from the area within that region. The remaining four digits are unique to that survey questionnaire.  The document 'Poverty in the UK sampling areas and interviewers' gives the numbers allocated to each of the regions and sub-regions and can be downloaded here.  The survey sampling design included additional interviews in Salford East (files starting with 6-29, 6-35, 6-36A, 6-36), Glasgow Shettleston (9-43,9-47, 9-49, 9-50) and Belfast (X-49, X50, X-52).

Peter Townsend conducted one interview himself and that survey booklet (X-51-3293) can be found here.

Unfortunately, around 1,000 of the original completed questionnaires had not been archived and cannot be traced.

Searching the questionnaires

The questionnaires are listed by their file name, in numerical order.

In the search box below, by clicking on the downward arrow for region/sub-region, you get a drop down menu allowing you to search by region. When a region is selected you get a further box giving a drop down menu of sub-regions used within that region.

'Annotated' enables you to search by those with notes on various pages throughout the questionnaire (that is those from the pilot phase and phase 2) and those without annotations in the main questionnaire and handwritten notes only on p39/39a (that is phase 3). 'Phase' allows you to distinguish between the 'pilot phase' where all pages were scanned, 'phase 2' where only pages with notes were scanned, and phase 3.

You can also search by the field worker who conducted the interviews.  On the survey questionnaires, the format of the name varies (initials and surname, first name and surname etc). For the fieldworker search, we have chosen one version of each fieldworkers name.  You can find this in the column labelled ‘Interviewer name for website search’ in a document called 'Poverty in the UK field interviewer list' which can be downloaded here.  This list also gives the areas which each fieldworker covered.

You can download a list of the survey questionnaire booklets covered in the pilot phase here; those covered in phase 2 here; and those covered in phase 3 here. These lists give for each pdf the study ID number, the region and sub-region, the field interviewer's name (in the form for the website search) and whether the questionnaire is annotated.



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