The Spender archive of photographs from Mass Observation’s Worktown project is regarded internationally as one of the most important archives in the development of British documentary photography. The Humphrey Spender John Marriott scholarship for Social Documentary Photography was launched in 2009 as part of the University of Bolton and Bolton Council’s initiative to develop a research centre based around the Spender archive.
The aim of the scholarship is to enable a recent post-graduate photography student to produce a sustained body of social documentary photography that re-interprets and contextualises some of the images/issues held within the Work Town archive. The current them of the scholarship is Sports, Spectacles and Spectators. Previous themes were Holidays and The Everyday. All images must be taken within the boundaries of Bolton.