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Meet QueenSpark Books' patron Dorothy Sheridan

By Melita Dennett

Meet QueenSpark Books' patron Dorothy Sheridan

An enthusiastic patron of QueenSpark Books and a funder since 2006, Dorothy was born on the west coast of Ireland but grew up in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Dorothy first came to Brighton in 1967 to study Sociology at the University of Sussex and, apart from a brief time in Scotland (where her son Luke was born), she has lived in the Queens Park area of Brighton ever since.

In 1974, she was offered a job at Sussex by Tom Harrisson, one of the original founders of the British research organisation, Mass Observation. Harrisson was at that time establishing the MO papers as a social history resource which specialised in the experience of everyday life from the late 1930s until the 1950s. This ‘temporary’ job in the Mass Observation Archive became a commitment lasting over 36 years. During that time, Dorothy developed and promoted the Archive, becoming its first archivist.

For over twenty years, she designed and directed the new national everyday writing project which still continues today. She has taught and lectured nationally and internationally; and her special interest are women’s diaries and life story research. Her books include Speak for Yourself (1984), Among You Taking Notes (1985), Wartime Women (1990) and Writing Ourselves (2000).

Dorothy received an MBE in 1991and an honorary doctorate from the Open University in 2007; is a Fellow and Honorary Professor at the University Sussex and a Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton. She retired from her full-time post as Head of Special Collections at Sussex in 2008 but continues to write and research. She is a Trustee of the MO Archive and a Trustee of the National Life Story at the British Library.

Dorothy first became involved with QueenSpark Books in its early years, and was a member of its management committee from 1996 to 2010.

This page was amended on 02/12/2015
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