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#MO80 - Mass Observation 80th Anniversary Conference as it happened on Twitter

The Mass Observation 80th Anniversary Conference was held on 10th-11th July at the University of Sussex. Here is how it was recorded on Twitter

Design student utilises Mass Observation diaries to highlight issues in modern day society

Rianna Low, 26, is a Master’s Degree student studying Visual Communication at the University of Gloucestershire. Inspired by the words of Mass Observation diarists, Rianna decided to visually interpret their quotes and create a selection of posters. The posters are a blend of wartime aesthetic and modern design. She wanted to bridge the idea of the past informing the present as she felt that many of the quotes still held resonance with society today. Rianna launched the campaign, Past Present Progress, in her own town to promote the idea of unity and to encourage people to think carefully about the past and make a pledge to work towards a better future. The project also encouraged people to send in their own quotes about life in 2017. Rianna is now looking to broaden engagement by inviting everyone and anyone to take part and send in quotes about society today, that can be used to create a new body of work commemorating 2017.

If you would like to send a quote to Rianna please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit pastpresentprogress.wordpress.com where you can find out more about Rianna and the project.

 

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#12May17 - 12th May 2017 as it happened on Twitter

As well as our normal 12th May project, we asked the Twitter community to get involved using the hashtag #12May17. Below are some of the results.

 

 

 

Celebrating 80 years of the Mass Observation movement

Mass Observation 80th Anniversary Logo Celebrating 80 years of the Mass Observation movement

10th-11th July 2017

The Mass Observation 80th Anniversary Conference was held on 10th-11th July 2017 at the University of Sussex. Our keynotes and closing panel comprised:

Matt Cook (Birkbeck)

James Hinton (Professor Emeritus Warwick University)

Joe Moran (Liverpool John Moores)

Lucy Noakes (University of Brighton)

Lucy Robinson (University of Sussex)

Dorothy Sheridan (University of Sussex and current Trustee of the Mass Observation Archive)

 

The conference programme can be found here

 

  

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex opened the conference.

Dorothy Sheridan (Trustee, Mass Observation Archive) and Lucy Noakes (University of Brighton) in conversation

 

The conference was sponsored by   ADAM MATHEW LOGO MASTER CMYK

New Publication! A Londoner in Lancashire 1941-1943

Annie HolnessA Londoner in Lancashire 1941-1943: The Diary of Annie Beatrice Holness (edited by Patricia and Robert Malcolmson, published by the Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 2016)

Annie Beatrice Holness, a middle-aged London civil servant, was evacuated with her office to the seaside town of Morecambe in 1940. A year later she began writing for Mass Observation. Her observant and thoughtful diary recorded everyday life in all its diversity – her billet, her country walks, her dreary job, her usually gratifying leisure activities (night classes, music and theatre, her allotment garden), the congestion and sights and sounds of wartime Morecambe, such as WAAFs training and throngs of holiday visitors on the promenade. Annie also disclosed her feelings about the setbacks and advances of the war and her attitudes to such issues as social reform, farming practices, religious belief, and the rights of women, especially in the workplace – though reticent on many matters, she was decidedly a feminist. Her perspectives often shifted, as war forced her and others to change. Feeling – as she often lamented – an ‘exile’ in Morecambe, she returned to London in 1945, but two years later chose to come back to Morecambe and settle there permanently. This edition focuses on the years when her diary was at its richest, between 1941 and 1943.

Patricia Malcolmson and Robert Malcolmson are historians who have written books and articles on English social history since the eighteenth century. In recent years they have edited for publication numerous twentieth-century diaries, most of them held in the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex. These include Nella Last’s Peace (2008), Nella Last in the 1950s (2010), The Diaries of Nella Last: Writing in War and Peace (2012), Kathleen Hey, The View from the Corner Shop: The Diary of a Yorkshire Shop Assistant in Wartime (2016), and several scholarly editions for various record societies (London, Bedfordshire, Dorset, and Surrey). Their latest authored books are Women at the Ready: The Remarkable Story of the Women’s Voluntary Services on the Home Front (2013) and Wartime Cumbria 1939-1945: A Social History (forthcoming), and Patricia’s Me and My Hair: A Social History (2012).

New book from the Archive: Mass Photography

Mass PhotographyWith increasingly accessible camera technology, crowd-sourced public media projects are abound like never before. Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life assesses the potential of these popular ‘moment-in-time’ projects by examining their current day prevalence and their historical predecessors. The central focus is the 55,000 photographs submitted to One Day for Life (held by the MOA) in 1987, which aimed, in its own time, to be ‘the biggest photographic event the world had ever seen’. Through case studies like this, Mass Photography examines the particular cultural role that amateur photography offers.

New database for the Mass Observation Project launched

A new database for the Mass Observation Project has been launched.


This is a searchable, downloadable database for people wanting to identify available writing from writers contributing to the Mass Observation Project (MOP) 1981 onwards. It is a resource that provides potential users of the MOP with information about the biographical/demographic characteristics and writing behaviours of individual Mass Observation Project writers.
The database is designed to enable users to

  • Identify available writing of individual writers, or groups of writers, based on their individual characteristics, such as year of birth and gender
  • Identify available writing of individual writers, or groups of writers, based on their writing behaviour
  • Search for available writing by theme/directive
  • Use tools that make simple demographic comparisons between writers and the broader population of the UK
  • Identify writers who have been serial responders

View the database here

Giddy App Launched!

GiddyWalk vicariously down memory lane with Giddy, a treasure trove of memories of teenage love, hope, loss, and rebellion.

The Mass Observation Archive is pleased to announce the launch of the Giddy app. The Archive worked on the Giddy project with students from Longhill School who used MOA and ESRO Brighton collections at The Keep to learn about the lives of teenagers in Brighton in 1940s, 50s and 60s.

Giddy Brighton exhibition launched on 7 May, 4-6pm, at the Theatre Foyer Gallery, University of Brighton, Grand Parade BN2 0JY.

Giddy Brighton is an exhibition that explores teenage memories from the post-war years in Brighton & Hove, launching as part of Brighton Festival 2016, alongside the release of the Giddy Brighton app. Archive images and film accompany oral histories, vividly reawakening Brighton & Hove life during the mid-20th century. Visit the exhibition to hear lived memories of Brighton & Hove; first kisses, endless dances, adventures and exploits.


For exhibition details and app download information visit The Giddy website


Giddy Brighton is a Brighton Festival commission, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The National Lesbian & Gay Survey - BBC Radio 4 Writing the Century: The Experience of Love

NLGS bbc

Writer and performer, Christopher Green has developed a new drama project, for BBC Radio 4, based on the Mass Observation Archive’s National Lesbian and Gay Survey (NLGS). The NLGS was set up by Kenneth 

Barrow in the mid 1980s, to record the experiences of ordinary people living under the shadow of oppression such as Section 28 and the AIDS crisis.

In the early 1990s, Christopher became Ken’s buddy, in a scheme organised by the Terrence Higgins Trust. This drama brings contributions from the Archive to life, alongside the story of Christopher who was with Ken in the last few months of his life.

This five-part drama is scheduled to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, everyday at 10:45 and then again at 19:45, the week beginning the 9th May.

Home:'the place to which I gravitate after a sally abroad..it contains..my books, my records, my tools, my chair, m… https://t.co/AmfSZ7L0EX
Defining holidays in 1947 - 'a throughly lazy time but one which has to be sufficiently exciting to be profitable'… https://t.co/0ulWKMfnvb
A stylish night out at the Sheffield Lyceum in 1940. The second season opened with Noel Coward's 'Design for Living… https://t.co/ufuaknK48P
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