University of Sussex Special Collections and Mass Observation Archive Blog

Showcasing our archives, collections, activities and projects

Restitution – Exploring the Papers of Leo Einhorn by Samira Teuteberg.



    Due to the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex, Special Collections holds a number of collections of family papers that were donated by people who came to the UK as refugees in the 1930s and 1940s. Recently the  University has been able to secure project funding to catalogue and digitise […]

University of Sussex: Celebrating summer graduation!



By Emma Johnson, University of Sussex Special Collections Intern. It’s that time of year again…another academic year has flown by and the class of 2015 are graduating! Graduation can often be a strange time for students- it’s a time to celebrate their hard work and academic achievements but to also reflect upon their time at […]

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: the Paris Commune Documents by Emma Johnson



From 18th-28th March 1871, French insurgents rebelled against the French Government and took over the city of Paris. The French citizens called for ‘liberte, egalite and fraternite’ against, what they believed to be, a corrupt government. I have been working on some of the posters that were used to incite rebellion against the Government; the […]

Notes from the collections: The Rutland Gate Tableau Album



4th July 2014 Guest blog post by Hannah Jordan The University of Sussex has recently acquired a fascinating album of nineteenth-century tableaux vivants photographs, now being held at the Keep. Dating from an 1869 charity tableaux event held at the home of Lady Winifred Mary Howard of Rutland Gate, London, the album contains 12 beautiful […]

MO in Palestine? March 2014



Keep meaning to write up my visit to Palestine for this blog. In March, I gave a paper on aspects of Mass Observation – specifically the contemporary project – at the University of Birzeit in the occupied West Bank. It was a contribution to an international conference on archiving Palestinian papers: “Globalising Palestine: Birzeit University’s […]

12th May: Be a Mass Observer for the day



On Monday 12th May the Mass Observation Archive will be repeating its annual call for day diaries written on the 12th May. Everyone is welcome to take part. You can read more about how to do so on our website. The first 12th May diary day was organised by Mass Observation back in 1937. The […]

Places in Special Collections: Worktown



Before starting my internship, I worked at The Keep as a temporary Archive Assistant for East Sussex Record Office. One of my responsibilities was to ‘pick’ boxes from the repository and deliver them to the production room, ready for readers to see. This hands-on process was my introduction to the Mass Observation Archive (MOA). A lot of the […]

People in Special Collections: John Kipling



Last Wednesday, at very short notice, I helped Fiona deliver a selection of documents to Batemans, in preparation for a royal visit. Part of the previous day had been spent reading through these documents, and selecting three letters for Fiona to discuss with HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Through this selection, I […]

Asa Briggs Internship with University of Sussex Special Collections: First Two Weeks



It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been working with Special Collections for two weeks; I feel like I’ve learnt so much already. Getting to know the team through hands-on experience has been great. Highlights have included supporting Fiona, Kirsty and Rose deliver workshops with university students. And shadowing a session led by Suzanne, which […]

Happiness and The Keep Family Open Day



What makes you happy? This is what the Mass Observation Project staff asked people on Saturday 1st February at The Keep’s first Family Open Day. Over 300 people came through the doors, to hear talks about the collections, take part in tours of the building, get involved in activities and generally have a taste of […]