New! Listen to Iona Opie, A Lifetime in the Playground

(Inaugural address to ‘The State of Play Conference’, University of Sheffield, 14 April 1998, introduced by Professor John Widdowson)


This website provides information and resources about the 'Childhoods and Play' Project. The British Academy has granted the project British Academy Research Project status from 2012 - 2017. The project is focused on the archival collection of Iona (1923) and Peter Opie (1918-1982) relating to the play and traditions of children. The internationally significant collection contains information contributed by some 20,000 British children, as well as the Opies' own observations and sound recordings, and is distributed between the Bodleian Libraries, the Folklore Society archives, and the British Library Sound Archive.


The project aims to surface the entire collection by creating a digital resource that brings it together and makes it freely available to all for academic, educational and community purposes. Until the collection is digitised, this website will provide information about the project and resources relating to the Opies and their work. The project involves a collaboration between the University of Sheffield, the University of London, Institute of Education, the Bodleian Libraries, the British Library and The Folklore Society.