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Jun 06

5th Shared Learning Project at the Langdon Down Museum 2018/19

  • The Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability

    The museum at Normansfield in Teddington tells the story of Dr John Langdon Down and his institution Normansfield. It includes artifacts from the Royal Earlswood Asylum and one of its residents, the savant James Henry Pullen. The Grade II* building includes a Victorian theatre. Langdon Down and his family brought a revolutionary and enlightened approach to care, education and training for those with all conditions of learning disability. The institution opened in 1868 and closed as an NHS hospital in 1997.

    Today part of the original building is home to the Down’s Syndrome Association, Langdon Down Museum and Normansfield Theatre. The museum researches the history of Normansfield and social history of learning disability. We are members of the London Museums of Health and Medicine and the Open University Social History of Learning Disability Group.

    For further information see:

    The Project: Daily Life as seen in the bills and receipts of the 19th and 20th centuries

    The museum has a large collection of bills and receipts for Normansfield that cover a period from the late 19th to early 20th century.

    Part of the collection is on permanent loan from local historian Ken Howe whose article can be read here:

    The Normansfield Bills

    From these bills and receipts a picture of daily life will be formed as they contain everything needed to run a large long stay institution.

    As well as the materials in the museum archive, volunteers will need to visit the London Metropolitan Archives in Islington and other local history museums.

    Please turn over➔

    What we ask of volunteers

    • Attend a preliminary 2 hour meeting with the group leader and volunteers. This will include an introduction to the history of Normansfield by the Langdon Down Museum archivist, Ian Jones- Healey.
    • Be available to attend the meetings at Normansfield at the agreed times and dates. It is expected that volunteers will attend all meetings, but there is room for flexibility.
    • To develop a short PowerPoint presentation and talk of their research and present this to an audience.
    • Conduct research at the Langdon Down Museum archive, the London Metropolitan Archives in Islington and local history archives.
    • Work on the project between meetings.
    • Submit all research materials to the museum archive at the end of the project.
    • Volunteers should have access to Microsoft Word, the internet and email.

      What’s in it for you?

    • To work as part of team and develop your knowledge and skills in researching local history.
    • To contribute to the history of Normansfield. Material will be used on the museum website, in

      displays, in talks and kept in the archives for future researchers.

      Why we want you

      We need volunteers to produce original research that contributes to our knowledge of the social history of learning disability and Normansfield.

      Provisional meeting dates in 2018

      Provisional dates are as follows, every two weeks, and are all on a Wednesday from 11am to 1pm:

      • 19 September. First meeting with a talk and tour. Outline of the project
      • 3, 17, 31 October
      • 14, 28 November
      • 12 December
      • Other dates in 2019 to be agreed including the final presentation date Location for meetings

        Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability,
        The Langdon Down Centre, Normansfield, 2A Langdon Park, Teddington, Middlesex, TW11 9PS.

        Nearest BR station: Hampton Wick, then a 10 minute walk. Buses: 281 and 285 stop outside.
        Free parking.

        To Apply
        Application forms are available on the LR website and should be submitted to Jen Cobb:

    Closing date for applications: July 27th 2019.