Historical entries: mass-observation diarists 1937-2001

New Formations - ISSN 0950-2378
Volume 2001 Number 44

Historical entries: mass-observation diarists 1937-2001
Margaretta Jolly pages -


Looks at the question of observation and testimony in relation to the diaries kept by volunteer Observers, and the ways in which these unpaid volunteers (to be contrasted with Harrisson’s team of radical amateur anthropologists) rose to the challenge of providing an ‘anthropology of ourselves’. Focusing on three diarists in particular - Nella Last, Edward Stebbing and Naomi Mitchison - Jolly opens up the function of diary-writing, both for the project of Mass-Observation and for the diarists themselves. She explores the thesis that ‘a cultural sociology of writing is part of the logic of M-O itself’, and discusses the current work of the Mass-Observation Archive in this light.

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To cite this article
Margaretta Jolly (2001) Historical entries: mass-observation diarists 1937-2001, New Formations, 2001(44), -

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