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Using the Mass Observation Archive

lyonsListed below are various articles, publications and links on the nature of Mass Observation as a research tool:


  • Highmore, B. 2002 Everyday Life and Cultural Theory: An introduction, Routledge, (p.75-112)
  • Moran, J. 2008. 'Mass Observation, market research and the birth of focus groups, 1937-1997'. In Journal of British Studies 47:4, p827-851.
  • Pollen, A. 2013 'Research methodology in Mass Observation past and present: 'Scientifically, about as valuable as a chimpanzee's tea party at the zoo'?' in History Workshop Journal 75(1): 213-235
  • Sheridan, D. 1996 “Damned anecdotes and dangerous confabulations” Mass Observation as life history. Mass Observation Occasional Paper No. 7
  • Summerfield, P. 1985 'Mass-Observation: Social Research or Social Movement?' In Journal of Contemporary History 20: 439
  • An example of a mixed-methods research project that used Mass Observation Project material is 'Continuity in Volunteering'. Led by the University of Southampton and funded by the ESRC.


To view a comprehensive list of articles and books on Mass Observation visit here. Visit our Online Resources page for more resources relating to Mass Observation. This includes podcasts and academic essays

Using the material

Researchers across a range of disciplines have used varying approaches to using Mass Observation. Read here on the different methods researchers have used.