Wednesday, 28 November 2007

ULS: New database on British Social History

ULS has added a new database called Mass Observation - British Social History, 1937-1972. It's not of any obvious interest to legal researchers, but it's an interesting and quirky collection. The Mass Observation project was created by three British researchers interested in everyday social history. Their plan was to create a collection of “meteorological stations from whose reports a weather map of popular feeling can be compiled." The researchers recruited 500 volunteers from the general public to form “a national panel.” The panel were asked to record the every day concerns of their lives on the twelfth of each month, including dreams, hopes, and fears. The first full-scale book by Mass Observation, "May 12th", provided reactions the coronation of George VI and accounts of what the panel thought and did on that day.
The"observers" also noted people's reactions to news; the idea was to collact a true, detached, scientific observation of popular attitudes and beliefs so that popular opinion could be properly understood.
The collection also includes photos, diaries, radio show transcripts, information about the project, and links to more information.

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