Welcome to The History of Dyslexia, a project tracing the origins of dyslexia. We're interested in its development in science, civil society and policy - from its first diagnosis by physicians in the late 19th century, to its present widespread and hard fought recognition in UK education. Explore this website to find out more about the early advocates, pioneers and researchers of dyslexia who got us where we are today.

About the project

This project is a collaboration between the Department of Experimental Psychology and the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford.

The researchers are William WhyteMaggie SnowlingKate Nation, Kieran Fitzpatrick and Philip Kirby, based at St. John's College, supported by Robert EvansSteve Chinn and Denise Cripps

Currently, the project is exploring three main strands: the science of reading, creating an authoritative account of the scientific debates over the definition of dyslexia and its causes; the politics of dyslexia, exploring how scientists and campaigners struggled to make the goverment take dyslexia seriously; and the everyday experience of dyslexia, uncovering how dyslexic people and their families came to understand the subject.

To inform each of these, the project is creating the UK Dyslexia Archive - a collection of oral histories of major actors in dyslexia's history and other relevant materials, including personal papers, case notes and unpublished histories.

The project extends its sincere thanks to all those who have contributed to the archive so far. The project is funded by the John Fell Fund (ref. 152/045) and the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund 2014-16.

Contact us

Do you have anything you'd like the share with the archive? We're interested in everything to do with the history of dyslexia - from the personal papers of pioneering scientists, to the thoughts and reflections of young people growing up with dyslexia. If you're interested, please let us know.