Mass Observation 12th May

It is the 10th anniversary of the Mass Observation annual call for day diaries.

On 12th May every year the Mass Observation Archive ask people in the UK to write down their activities for the day. This is then stored and used for teaching, learning and research.

The first time mass observation took place in 1937. People from all parts of the UK recorded everything they did from waking up, until they went to sleep on 12th May.

Back in 1937, 12th May was the day George VI coronation took place. How interesting would that be to read those diary entries today? This is what makes journaling such a powerful tool, years from now people will enjoy reading about life in 2020.

This year, a call has been made for diary entries to be sent via email (and not by post), written in Word and sent to

Entries must not include personal names or information but should include a brief self portrait that includes age, where you live, your relationship status, your present job or occupation if you are working and any other information that you think is important to record.

Also, in the spirit of reflective writing, any reflections on the day and on how you felt while keeping the diary are also welcome. Reflect on the past decade and even look forward to the next ten years.

At the end of your diary you MUST include the statement below if you want it to be included in the Archive. I have taken this statement from

where you can find more information on the mass observation event.

“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 assign my copyright in the diary to the Mass Observation Archive Trustees so that it can be reproduced in full or in part on websites, in publications and in broadcasts as approved by the Mass Observation Trustees. I agree to the Mass Observation Archive assuming the role of Data Controller and the Archive will be responsible for the collection and processing of personal data and ensuring that such data complies with the DPA.”

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