mo logo red

Contact us:

Phone: +44 (0)1273 337515

Email: moa@sussex.ac.uk

Saturday 12th May 2018

 Would you like to keep a one-day diary  for Mass Observation?

In 2018 the Mass Observation Archive will be repeating its annual call for day diaries, capturing the everyday lives of people across the UK. The written diaries will be stored in the Archive at The Keep and be used by a wide range of people for research, teaching and learning. This includes academics and students, schools, writers, producers, artists, community and special interest groups and the general public.

In 1937 Mass Observation called for people from all parts of the UK to record everything they did from when they woke up in the morning to when they went to sleep at night on 12th May. This was the day of George VI’s Coronation. The resulting diaries provide a wonderful glimpse into the everyday lives of people across Britain, and have become an invaluable resource for those researching countless aspects of the era.

May 12th 2018 is likely to be quite an ordinary day, but for those researching, the ‘ordinary’ can often provide extraordinary results.  The diaries will be held and used alongside the 1937 documents. We would be very grateful if you could document your May 12th for the future.

How to take part 

  • Write as much as you can about what you do, what you talk about, what you eat and drink, what you buy or sell, what you are working on, the places you visit, the people you meet, the things you read, see and hear around you, how you are feeling and, of course, what you yourself think
  • Diaries should be in electronic form as email attachments (as word documents preferably) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Please refrain from including your real name, contact details, or the personal details of the people mentioned in your diary. Please remember that these diaries will be read and used for research and teaching, so don’t include anything that may identify you or others.
  • You should include a brief self portrait: your age, where you live, your relationship status, your present job or occupation if you are working and any other information that you think is important to record.
  • If 12th May was a typical day for you please say so. If not, please say why it wasn’t. Any reflections on the day and on how you felt while keeping the diary are welcome.
  • So that we can add your diary to the rest of the Archive for the future, please include the statement below at the end of your diary. If you don’t attach this statement, we won’t be able to keep your diary or make it part of the Archive.

12th May with Childs Drawing for webpage

“I donate my 12th May diary to the Mass Observation Archive. I consent to it being made publicly available as part of the Archive and assign my copyright in the diary to the Mass Observation Archive Trustees so that it can be reproduced in full or in part on websites, in publications and in broadcasts as approved by the Mass Observation Trustees. I agree to the Mass Observation Archive assuming the role of Data Controller and the Archive will be responsible for the collection and processing of personal data and ensuring that such data complies with the DPA.”

You can also take part on Twitter. Tweet your day using the hashtag #12May18

Schools and Community Groups

We would also welcome diaries from school children, community groups, or other organisations. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to discuss how your group can take part or download our 12th May diary pack:

These packs are designed for schools and groups wanting to post their diaries to the Archive. Individuals can also use the diary template to submit their entry if they wish but please complete only the first page.

download icon12th May diary folder

download icon12th May diary template

"My holiday in 1940" - 'I also had another holiday but I spent that one in hospital..it was not very nice in there… https://t.co/2D7idFikdT
'Keep hale and hearty and enjoy life', please take care, and remember - you are not so young.. From MO's topic coll… https://t.co/aAusP1CjCp
Revisiting @TheKeepArchives's blog on Fashion in the Archives, featuring Mass Observation #WW2 #Archivecatwalk https://t.co/JKRCid2ZdY
Follow Mass Observation on Twitter