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About the Archive

The Timescapes Archive is a specialist resource of Qualitative Longitudinal (QL) Research data. It was first set up in 2010 under the ESRC Timescapes Initiative, and has since undergone further development under the ESRC Changing Landscapes for the Third Sector project.

The resource has been developed in collaboration with the UK Data Archive, and forms part of the Institutional Repository at the University of Leeds. It is run as a joint venture between staff in the Families, Lifecourse and Generations Research Centre in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, and the University of Leeds Research Data Management Team.

Details of the Archive's holdings can be found here.

Preservation copies of our collections are held at the UKDA.

The Archive is designed to enable the sharing and reuse of datasets that have been generated using Qualitative Longitudinal Research methods.


Since 2007 Timescapes has created a data Archive, a multi-media resource of Qualitative Longitudinal data, drawn from our network of projects. Fourteen QL datasets have been deposited with the archive. These are drawn from our network of empirical projects, our archiving project, and affiliated projects (see affiliation list for further details). The Archive was built on an institutional repository platform at the University of Leeds, and developed in close collaboration with the UK Data Archive, of which it is a satellite, and our dedicated archiving project.

Based at the University of Leeds, the archive is open to researchers seeking to conduct secondary analysis of social research data. It offers exciting possibilities for analysing data through time, over the life course and across the generations. It is possible, for example, to bring together data on parenting across the generations, exploring young people's experiences of being parented and their aspirations for becoming parents, early and midlife transitions to parenthood and the shifting nature of parent / child relationships in early, mid and later life. These questions can then be brought into conversation with longitudinal analyses of families experiences of Welfare Conditionality, interrogating how such aspirations are shaped through particular policy processes.

The Big Qual Analysis Teaching dataset is available not only for teaching and training, but also for conducting new Big Qual research. Big Qual offers the opportunity of ‘scaling up’ qualitative research whereby differently constituted datasets can be brought together on the basis of locality, substantive focus, historical period, and so forth, offering the potential to overcome the inevitable trade-off between ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ datasets and the analytical techniques extended to these. Big Qual can be used to generate new empirically grounded research questions, as well as new substantive findings, facilitating the development of depth explanations and solutions relating to human behaviour in complex processes.