Mass Observation Project (MOP) Database 1981+

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About this Database


This is a searchable, downloadable database for people wanting to identify available writing from writers contributing to the Mass Observation Project (MOP) 1981 onwards (please see the FAQs for a description of the MOP). It is a resource that provides potential users of the MOP archive with information about the biographical/demographic characteristics and writing behaviours of individual Mass Observation Project writers.  


The database is designed to enable users to:

  • Identify available writing of individual writers, or groups of writers, based on their individual characteristics, such as year of birth and gender.
  • Identify available writing of individual writers, or groups of writers, based on their writing behaviour
  • Search for available writing by theme/directive (see FAQs)
  • Use tools that make simple demographic comparisons between writers and the broader population of the UK.
  • Identify writers who have been serial responders


The data in this database can be downloaded to view, or manipulate, in Excel.

You can find out more about how this database was created and how to use it on the FAQs listed below. We strongly advise reading the FAQs, as these provide information on the limitations of some of the data provided. 

For help and guidance on undertaking database searches, please consult the tutorial page, which provides simple instructions and step by step screenshots of typical searches.

Please note that you cannot access the responses to Mass Observation Project through this database. These can be accessed by physically visiting The Keep.  (see FAQs)

Please contact us if you can't find the answer to your question in the FAQs or other help materials, or if you would like to discuss using the Mass Observation Project in more detail.

The database was developed as part of the ‘Defining the Mass Observation Project’ funded through the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative, and is a collaboration between the Mass Observation Archive, and the Universities of Southampton, Birmingham and Surrey.



Click on the question to view or hide the answer.


What is the Mass Observation Project (MOP)?

How do I access the writing by the Mass Observation writers?

Who are the Mass Observation Project writers?

How are the Mass Observation Project writers recruited? 

What data is in the database?

Where does the data in the database come from?

What information does the database contain about the writers socio-demographic characteristics?

How have the writers recorded their relationships?

Has the ethnicity of writers been recorded?

How do I find out what Directives were sent to the Mass Observation panel? 

Can I use the data longitudinally?

What are the limitations of the database?

Can I export or save my searches?

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