Mass Observation Online


Original manuscript and typescript papers created and collected by the Mass-Observation organisation, together with printed publications, photographs and interactive maps. The documents are from the Special Collections Library, University of Sussex.

Mass Observation Online offers revolutionary access to one of the most important archives for the study of Social History in the modern era.  The material covers:

  • The end of the ‘Hungry Thirties’ when the impact of the Depression was still being felt;
  • The onset of war, the Blitz and war on the home front;
  • The post war world, with the rise of consumerism and television.

The archive has always been immensely popular with students because it offers immediate and engaging evidence of major trends such as the increasing role of women in work, the birth of the welfare state, anti-Semitism and anti-communism, the growth of secularism and the increasing importance of radio, television and cinema in people’s lives.  Through interviews, overheard conversations, directive responses and diary entries it offers brilliant cameos describing life in the jazz halls, what people thought of the movies they saw, how people survived the random terror of the Blitz, and where they lived and worked.

Additional features include interactive maps, a bibliography, a chronology, and a collection of photographs by Humphrey Spender.

(From the website)


Includes images, maps, photographs.

Available from Adam Matthew Digital through a CRKN agreement (Available until 2019).

Update Frequency: 
Stable URL: 

A stable url (or persistent link) is a link that connects a user to a particular item in a database or on the web.

A persistent link in this database is the link to the .pdf document.

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