An introduction to the collection and the material selection
A brief guide to the key features included in the collection
As part of Special Collections at the University of Sussex, the Archive preserves the papers of the original Mass Observation and makes them publicly available at The Keep
An overview of the seven main document types that make up the Archive
The Mass Observation team pick some of their highlights from the collection
Scholars and specialists helped select archival material for inclusion in Mass Observation, provided written content or reviewed particular areas of the resource
1939-1967. Full personal diaries kept usually on a daily basis by members of MO’s national panel.
1937-1938. One day diaries written by people from all over Britain who volunteered to be members of MO’s national panel of observers.
1939-1955. Answers from members of MO’s national panel to the regular “directive” or open-ended questionnaire on a variety of subjects including personal issues.
1939-1955. Monthly questionnaire produced by Mass Observation and distributed to members of the volunteer panel. The questionnaire was known as a 'directive’.
1937-1965. The raw material generated by MO’s studies including: questionnaires, interviews, descriptions, correspondence and printed ephemera. All material is arranged by theme or title of study.
1937-1965. Books which appeared during MO’s first phase of activity, 1937-1950, as well as two further publications from the 1960s.
1937-1951. A series of over 2,000 typed original reports, providing a top level summary of MO methods, and conclusions of Mass Observation studies.
The MO study of Bolton and Blackpool, 1937-1940. Also known as the Worktown Project.
100 photographs taken by Humphrey Spender taken to support Mass Observation's study of Bolton and Blackpool 1937-1940
Discover more about significant themes and topics featured in this resource using online exhibitions which draw upon primary source documents to highlight key visual material and provide further contextual information
Academic essays to guide your research around key topics with links to primary source content in the collection
Mass Observation was the result of three researchers engaged in social investigation who came together by coincidence…
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Expand your research into Mass Observation with these further resources also available online
Cross search all Adam Matthew collections
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Frequently asked questions and answers about the collection
Guidence on how to include content from the collection for teaching packs and resources
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