Skip to main content Skip to navigation

History Head Start - Option 2

Founded in 1973, the Modern Records Centre launched with the principal objectives of locating and preserving primary sources for modern British social, political and economic history. As this course will demonstrate, they have loads of interesting and important things in their collections!

Diaries of Eileen Younghusband Link opens in a new window

Dame Eileen Louise Younghusband, DBE (1 January 1902 – 22 May 1981) was internationally known for her research and teaching in the field of social work. Born in London, she was raised in India until the age of 7 when the family returned to London. On the family's return to England in 1910, she was educated privately and then attended the London School of Economics, gaining an external certificate in social studies followed by a university diploma in sociology in 1926. The Modern Records Centre holds 126 boxes of material relating to Eileen Younghusband including a large number of diaries which she kept throughout her life, from the age of 15. 


Follow this link and read the 5 diary entries covering Friday October 10th 1919 – Friday October 17th 1919: opens in a new window


Once you've read the above diary entries, answer the following questions: 

  1. What are the pros and cons of using a diary as a historical source? 
  2. What events had been or were happening when these diary entries were written? 
  3. How useful is this source for studying the 1919 railway strike? 
  4. Do you think Eileen’s life was typical for a 17-year-old at the time? 
  5. How does Eileen’s life compare to your own? 
  6. What information might you miss by reading a transcript of the diary, rather than looking at the actual diary itself?  

General Information:

To help you think about these sources in a historical way, use the list of questions to guide your thinking.

Tips for Using
Primary Sources: