about 40 objects

click on any image to read the full story

Your Own Object

contact markdoel@icloud.com to donate your own Object to the Exhibition


I’m pleased to announce that a sister site has opened in Latin America: 40 Objetos del Trabajo Social latinoamericano (http://40objetos.ulagos.cl/) with numerous objects and stories of Latin American social work, including a gallery of student social workers’ objects and stories. View an introductory video in Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLv5xbyTYsk.

Coram Children’s Charity is piloting a training programme for social workers and carers of children, Objects and our stories, which introduces participants to the power of objects when helping children to tell their stories.  The course is based on a resource pack, Object in Social Work, which has been refined by three design teams of social workers and social work educators in Sheffield, London and New York. Contact Dan Kearns at Coram for more information about Coram’s programme: Daniel.Kearns@coram.org.uk 

Since the launch of the book , Social Work in 42 Objects (and more), sales have contributed over £1500 to help support Tara’s work with street children in Delhi. Please let your colleagues and friends know about the book in order to promote wider understanding of social work at the same time as supporting Tara’s work.

The book had two successful launches, one at at the Foundling Museum (Coram) London, who have endorsed the book, and another on World Social Work Day at Trinity College Dublin. Presentations of 40 Objects have been given to several audiences on three continents; there are now over 160 objects from 26 countries.

This site remains open for new Objects (see below) and the book is available by clicking on the links in the right column.

Publicity information for 40 Objects

Can the story of social work be told through Objects? Might a collection of objects be more illuminating than a formal text book or a dry definition?

Social Work in 42 Objects (and more) is a photographic Catalogue of thsi Virtual Exhibition of Social Work, curated by  Mark Doel. It contains 127 objects contributed by people from around the globe to evoke the meanings of social work.

It’s an ideal book to introduce social work to newcomers, and to entertain those with long experience of the profession. The objects are presented by a diverse group of people with different relationships to social work.

Feedback and comments on the book are very welcome (markdoel@icloud.com). Please let your friends and colleagues know about it.

More Objects

Objects and stories continue to be uploaded to the blog. To propose an Object:

  • Send a photo of the Object and a photo of yourself, and around 100 words about yourself – how/why you got into social work; how you have experienced it.
  • Write briefly why you chose this Object and what it means to you. I chose X because … 
  • Email these items to me at markdoel@icloud.com – I’ll upload your nominations for comments and discussion. If you have difficulty getting a digital image of your Object, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I’m happy to talk over your ideas, too.

Please continue to spread the word and ask others to get involved, either naming an object or commenting on them, or both. Nominations from groups are also welcome.