Mass Observation Online

Mass Observation Online makes available original manuscript and typescript papers created and collected by the Mass Observation organisation, as well as printed publications, photographs and interactive features. A pioneering social research organisation, Mass Observation was founded in 1937 by anthropologist Tom Harrisson, film-maker Humphrey Jennings and poet Charles Madge. Their aim was to create an 'anthropology of ourselves', and by recruiting a team of observers and a panel of volunteer writers they studied the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain. This resource covers the original Mass Observation project, the bulk of which was carried out from 1937 until the mid-1950s, offering an unparalleled insight into everyday life in Britain during these transformative years.

Data creator

Mass Observation

University of Sussex

Adam Matthew Digital

Adam Matthew Digital

Mass Observation, University of Sussex

Date of collection
1939 to 1955
Mode of data collecton

Questionnaires were mailed out by the project to respondents (known as "observers") who mailed back their written or typed responses. 

Unit of observation

Qualitative data

Access status
Access conditions and restrictions

Restricted to University of Toronto students, staff and faculty.