What can archives reveal about people’s lives in the 1920s?
This resource was created as a result of 20sStreets, a project designed to bring local history to life for students. The National Archives collaborated with four local archives: Tower Hamlets, Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Kresen Kernow, to help children explore life in one local street 100 years ago. This education resource includes eight selected case studies from this project. Each case study focuses on a different household in the 1920s, firstly through the 1921 census, then a range of documents from archival collections. The locations explored are Tower Hamlets, Accrington, Wakefield and Falmouth. Students are encouraged to be history detectives, investigating people’s lives using documents as clues. This helps pupils gain a deeper understanding of what life was like 100 years ago, what people’s jobs were, how they had fun and what their houses might have looked like. This resource can also open up a discussion about what information archives contain and how they can help us find out about ordinary people’s lives. It is suggested that students are divided in to groups focusing on different case studies. There are also creative activities included to extend student’s learning.