Wednesday 11 May 2011

Keep a one-day diary day - tomorrow!

Tomorrow the Mass Observation Archive are repeating their call for people from all parts of the UK to keep a one-day diary recording their day from waking up to going to bed.  The original Mass Observation Day was on 12 May 1937 and is part of the larger Mass Observation social research organisation.  The first diary day was the Coronation of George VI, last years was the first day in Government for the coalition, and this year, well it's just an 'ordinary' day but who's to say that's any less interesting.

The Archives of the Mass Observation project, including the diaries, are publicly available at the University of Sussex.

What they are looking for:
  • Write as much as you can about what you do, who you meet, 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 and of course what you yourself think.
What to include:
  • You should include a brief self portrait: your age, where you live, whether you are married or single, your present job or occupation if you are working and any other information that you think is important to record. We need this as background to your diary.
  • 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 always 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.
“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 Trustees”.

How to submit:

Anyone can keep a diary but it must be in electronic form. They can be sent as emails or as attachments (preferably word documents).  Send them to -

Apologies to readers not in the UK for the UK specific post.  Maybe there are similar projects elsewhere in the world, does anyone know of any? If so please share as I'd lvoe to hear about them.

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