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Mass Observation - Recording everyday life in Britain

The Archive's Staff and Trustees

The Staff and Trustees of the Mass Observation Archive

Staff and Trustees

Special Collections manager and curator of the Mass Observation Archive

Ms Fiona Courage

I have worked with Mass Observation since 2000, and alongside the other archival collections at the University of Sussex, am responsible for its care and accessibility. This includes the acquisition of new material and ensuring the provision of research and learning support. I also work on projects to engage both the Higher Education and wider community and provide support for data collection projects. I have had the opportunity to speak about the Mass Observation Archive on many occasions, throughout the UK and further afield and have written articles on ways to use the Archive to support research.

I have worked at the University of Sussex Library since 1994 and qualified as a Librarian in 2003. Since then I have completed a PGCert in Teaching in Higher Education and was awarded a Sussex Teaching Fellowship in 2010. I am currently undertaking an Education Doctorate at Sussex, using Mass Observation as a tool and inspiration for my own research.

Mass Observation Project Officer

Ms Kirsty Pattrick

As Project Officer, I am responsible for managing and developing the current Mass Observation Project, increasing its use amongst academic and non-academic communities. I teach students in Higher Education across different disciplines and work in partnership on a range of projects that help increase the  Archive's collection. My role also includes fundraising and grant making to support the Charities long-term work.

I studied Contemporary History at Sussex and joined Special Collections in February 2011. I previously managed oral history, reminiscence and intergenerational projects for a national older peoples Charity. In 2013 I completed my PGCert in Teaching in Higher Education.
My role is funded by the Mass Observation Archive Trust.

Education and Outreach Officer

Ms Suzanne Rose

I joined Special Collections in September 2012 and coordinate and develop the Archive’s education and outreach programme for schools and the wider community.

I have worked in arts development within the voluntary sector, schools and local authorities and have much experience of devising and delivering projects, which provide opportunities for learning and participation.

My role is funded by the Mass Observation Archive Trust.


Mass Observation Supervisor

Ms Jessica Scantlebury


My post supports all of the Mass Observation Archive’s activities, projects and collaborations, in particular the contemporary Mass Observation Project and the acquisition of new material. I am responsible for supporting all researchers and groups using the material collected by both phases of Mass Observation and for cataloguing material within the Archive.  I also run the Archive’s lively e-mail discussion list and Twitter account.

My role is funded by the Mass Observation Archive Trust.


I joined the Mass Observation Archive in 2006, after achieving a BA degree in Cultural Studies and a MA in English Literature. Since then I have completed a postgraduate short course in Narrative Research and I currently sit on the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive (LAGNA) committee. 

Mass Education Project Coordinator

Ratna Jan Bibi


I joined the Mass Observation Archive in September 2013 and coordinate a programme of creative learning activities designed to inspire and engage schools, families and the wider community groups with the Mass Observation Archive. My post is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Having worked in the arts, I have delivered participatory educational projects within galleries, museums, charity, educational and local authority settings.



Lord Briggs
Asa Briggs, the eminent social historian, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sussex, 1967-76, Chancellor of the Open University 1978-94, Provost of Worcester College, 1976-1991 was responsible for the rescue of the Mass Observation papers and their establishment as an archive at the University of Sussex in 1970. Asa was one of the first Archive Trustees in 1974 and is now the Patron of the Archive.


Ms Hilary Callan
Hilary joined the Board of Trustees in 2012 as one of two Trustees appointed by the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI). She was Director of the RAI from 2000 to 2010, and previously Executive Director of the European Association for International Education based in Amsterdam. Her first degree was in psychology and philosophy, and her postgraduate research has been in anthropology. She has taught University courses in anthropology, sociology and cultural studies in the UK, the Middle East and Canada. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Wiley-Blackwell International Encyclopedia of Anthropology (forthcoming). She looks forward to contributing to the important work of the Mass Observation Archive.

Mr Jeremy Crow
Jeremy joined the Trustee board in 2010. He is currently the Head of Literary Estates at the Society of Authors, which acts as the literary representative of the estates of a number of distinguished writers including Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Philip Larkin, E. M. Forster, Rosamond Lehmann, Walter de la Mare, John Masefield and Compton Mackenzie.

Ms Elizabeth Dunn
Elizabeth Dunn studied chemistry at St Hilda's College Oxford before completing a law conversion course and training as a solicitor at the intellectual property specialist irm Rouse Legal. She is now adding to her specialist IP knowledge by training as a trade mark attorney in a well known practice.Elizabeth joined the Trust board in 2008 with, unsurprisingly, a particular remit for the intellectual property aspects of the work of the Trust and is looking forward to contributing to the development of the Archive.

Mr Simon Garfield
Simon Garfield is the author of fourteen books of non-fiction, including three edited volumes of diaries from the Mass Observation Archive: Our Hidden Lives, We Are At War and Private Battles. He is currently at work on a fourth volume.His website is

Ms Kitty Inglis
Kitty Inglis studied European History and Spanish at the University of East Anglia (UEA), graduating in 1984. She completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies at University College London in 1986, while working as Periodicals Librarian at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College. Following posts in Bristol and London, Kitty returned to UEA in 1989 as History Subject Librarian and remained there in a variety of different roles until moving to the University of Sussex as Librarian in 2008. As University Librarian, Kitty is Chair of the Mass Observation Archive Trust and is delighted to have an opportunity to contribute to the development of such a significant and prestigious resource.

Dr Claire Langhamer
Claire Langhamer is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Sussex where she has worked for the last ten years. Her interest in Mass Observation began when she was researching for her first book, Women's Leisure in England 1920-1960. Since then MO has been central to her research and she has used it in articles on women and pubs during the Second World War, the meanings of home in mid-century Britain, adultery in the post-war period, and love and courtship. She has recently written a new book about 'everyday love' based on new and old MO. This is called The English in Love: The Intimate Story of an Emotional Revolution and is published by the OUP.

Professor Jeremy MacClancy
Jeremy MacClancy is a Professor of Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences and Law at Oxford Brooks University. His research interests include social and culturally-based food practices and research methods for the anthropological study of food and its consumption. He is also the Director of ACCEND (the Anthropological Centre for Conservation, Environment and Development). Professor MacClancy joined the Trustee Board in June 2011.

Professor Dorothy Sheridan
Dorothy Sheridan joined the Trustee Board in 2011. She has worked with the Mass Observation papers since 1974, first as assistant to Tom Harrisson, later as archivist and then Director of the Archive. She supported the launch of the MO Project in 1981 and directed it until 2010. Between 2000 and 2008, she was Head of Special Collections in the University of Sussex Library and has enjoyed a career of teaching, researching and publishing on MO-related themes for nearly four decades. She was awarded an MBE in 1990 and is currently an honorary Professor of History at Sussex.