Friday, 7 May 2010

Keep a diary for just one day – Mass Observation on 12th May

I’d like to pass on this message for the UK Mass Observation project. It sounds fascinating and fun!

Would you keep a one-day diary for Mass Observation on Wednesday 12th May 2010?

In 1937, Mass Observation called for people from all parts of the UK to record everything they did and thought from when they woke up in the morning to when they went to sleep at night on 12th May. The resulting diaries provide a wonderful glimpse into the everyday lives of all sorts of people in the late 1930s. They are stored, with many other diaries and papers, at the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex.

As it happened 12th May 1937 was the day of George VI's Coronation and many people wrote about being involved in this national event. May 12th 2010 is likely to be quite an ordinary day but we would still like to have your diaries.

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.

Anyone from any part of the UK whatever your age or background is welcome to send us a diary but it must be in electronic form!

How to take part:

- Diaries should be no more than 750 words

- Diaries MUST be in electronic form - emails or email attachments

- You should include a brief self portrait: your age, where you live, who you live with - if anyone, 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 (not within the 750 word limit). 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 to it being reproduced in full or in part on the MOA website, on other websites and in publications as approved by the Mass Observation Archive Trustees".

To submit you diary email to:

We can't thank you personally for your diary but keep an eye on for news of the project.

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