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Mass Observation - Recording everyday life in Britain

Searching the collections

Index card files for the Worktown collection
Index card files for the Worktown collection.

The Mass Observation Archive is one of the Special Collections in the care of the University of Sussex at The Keep. You can use The Keep's website to seach the Mass Observation catalogues.

You can find an overview of our collections here. We've provided a set of quick links to the relevant catalogues and lists below.

You will need to visit the Archive to view the actual materials.

Searching for the first time?

Before searching our collections for the first time, we recommend you read a brief history of Mass Observation and look at the overview of our collections.

Quick links to catalogues and lists

You can search for material in the Mass Observation Archive's using The Keep's catalogue.

Below are some links to lists of the Archive's holdings.

Original Mass Observation collection, 1937-1950s

File Report series
Diaries, 1939-65
Day Surveys, 1937-38
Directive replies
Topic Collections, 1937-60
Worktown Collection

Mass Observation Project, 1981 - ongoing

Search the catalogue of the Mass Observation Project and view a chronological list of Directives here.

Observing the 1980s

Selected Directive responses collected as part of the Mass Observation Project in the 1980s are available for research online. In 2012 the University of Sussex received JISC funding for a project called Observing the 1980s. This project brings together ‘voices’ from the Mass Observation Project and the British Library’s Oral History collections alongside 1980s documents and ephemera from the University of Sussex Library.  For more information visit the Observing the 1980s webpage.