University of Sussex Special Collections and Mass Observation Archive Blog

Showcasing our archives, collections, activities and projects

Using Mass Observation. Guest blog by Julius Baker (University of Sussex)



T. Kushner’s (2004) book, “We Europeans? Mass-Observation, ‘Race’ and British Identity in the Twentieth Century”, first introduced me to the work of the Mass Observation Archive (MOA), but it was only last month that I finally had a chance go there in person. As a Migration masters student from the University of Sussex I have […]

We are at The Keep!



  We did it! We are finally at The Keep! All our archives, collections and staff have moved in and now you can come and visit us! Take a look at The Keep’s website for more details about how to do so. I particularly recommend that you read the page about visiting The Keep as this talks you through the registration […]

Panel discussion: what is happiness?



The panel discussion was full of content and different ideas that I can’t put it all into a blog post! So I’ll just give you a taster of the evening. The panel included Lucy Robinson (University of Sussex), Annebella Pollen (University of Brighton), Ben Jones (UEA) and Emily Robinson (University of Sussex). The discussion took […]

Happy encounters in everyday life



“The garden is the smallest parcel of the world and then it is the totality of the world” – Foucault On Wednesday 6th November, Mark Bhatti, a sociologist from the University of Brighton, gave an interesting public talk about happiness and the garden. It took place in the downstairs theatre area of the Latest Music […]

Happiness is a creative writing session….



Following an excellent blog post by Donna, I thought I’d post some extracts from our creative writing efforts. Extract one: I’m writing to you to record moments in your life that have made you happy. It is difficult to decide which moment to write about. What is happiness? What does it mean? What is it? […]

Happiness: creative writing



The creative writing workshop on Tuesday 5th November, facilitated by Evlynn Sharp, was enjoyable, insightful and uplifting. The workshop took place in the Latest Music Bar, Brighton; a light and airy venue with comfortable wooden chairs, high ceilings and large windows. Good coffee, herbal tea and biscuits were provided. Before the workshop started, we introduced […]

Blogging about happiness



My name is Donna and I’m studying for an MA in Media Practice for Development and Social Change at the University of Sussex. Between Monday the 4th and Friday the 8th of November, I will be blogging about the Mass Observation Archive events taking place in Brighton for the ESRC Festival of Social Science. The […]




So, Jessica and I had a great day at TEDx on Friday. Having been hooked by lots of inspiring online TED talks over the past year, it was exciting to be invited to hold a stand in the Ideas Lab and to hear some thought provoking speakers, that certainly didn’t disappoint! Our stand was busy […]

What is happiness? Some upcoming events…



Although we are currently very busy preparing to open in our new home at The Keep we are still finding the time and energy to organise some events and get out and about. Hopefully you will be able to pay us a visit at one of the Mass Observation Archive’s upcoming events… On the 25th […]

A new start…



Gosh, it has been a while since we updated this blog, hasn’t it? Over a year now! You will (hopefully) be pleased to know that we are re-launching  the blog  as the one for the University of Sussex’s Special Collections and Mass Observation Archive. This is because the University of Sussex Collection cataloguing project has now […]