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Series Three: Papers from the Mass-Observation Archive at the University of Sussex

Part 3: Topic Collections on Industry and Social Conditions, 1938-1955

Mass-Observation was a pioneering social research organisation whose papers provide insights into the cultural and social history of Britain from 1937 to 1965. 
Its strength is that it describes everyday life in the words of ordinary people, with extensive interviews and records of overheard conversations. The collection is also a wonderful source of contemporary ephemera.

Part 3 concerns Industry and the circumstances that led to the Labour landslide of 1945.  It covers:

  • Industry (wartime factory conditions and industrial relations);
  • Coal Mining (a survey of two Welsh mining communities, Blaina and Nantyglo, and miscellaneous surveys of coal mines and miners, 1939-48); 
  • Happiness (a 1938 questionairre describing the things that make ordinary people happy);
  • Labour Party 'Ask Your Dad' (Response to a campaign mounted by the Labour Party to remind the public that the Tories had presided over bad social conditions and high unemployment between the wars);
  • General Elections (material collected during the election campaigns of 1945 and 1950, with much on welfare state politics).

This collection is also cross-listed as Part 11 of the Mass Observation Archive.

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