Mass Observation online

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An online archive of British social history from 1937- 1972, with a focus on the World War Two period (1939-1945). The Mass Observation research project involved the scientific observation of public attitudes and opinions. Mass Observation online is an online archive of the original research documents created by the University of Sussex library.

Key features

  • File reports on a range of subject areas (1937-1972)
  • Day Surveys and Diaries recording every-day experiences and opinions of the general public (1937-1945)
  • Directives recording opinions of the general public on pre-determined research topics (1939-1945)
  • Books and Essays published by the Mass Observation project
  • Other personal papers collected by the Mass Observation research project

Subject Coverage

  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Criminology


United Kingdom

How often updated

Not updated


1937-1972 (focused on 1937-1945).

Users are advised to read Mass Observation:  A Short History  and Reading Mass Observation Writing before starting their own research.   

The Help pages includes a user guide, frequently asked questions, teaching notes and contact details.


Adam Matthew Digital.



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