Mass Observation online

Mass Observation Online offers revolutionary access to one of the most important archives for the study of Social History in the modern era. This digital project is a multi-facteted resource, offering integrated access to the new online material, existing microfilm series, and the Mass-Observation Archive itself, allowing the user options to search across the entire Archive or by material available digitally.

Mass Observation was a pioneering social research organisation whose papers provide insights into the cultural and social history of Britain from 1937 to 1965. The material at the Mass Observation Archive, and now on Mass Observation Online, offers an unparalled insight into everyday life in the 1930s and 1940s. This publication opens up a host of essay and project possibilities on topics such as abortion, old age, crime, eating habits, shopping, fashion, dance, popular music, sex, sport, reading, ethnic minorities, and the decline of Empire.  The material is especially rich on life in Britain during the Second World War.

Spatial Coverage: 
United Kingdom
Data Creator: 
University of Sussex
Time Period: 

1937 - 1965

Data Publisher:


An online help section is included within the site.


Images from the collection can be downloaded as PDF files.

Data Access: 

Directly available to Edinburgh University users via EASE.