Share your life, reflections and hopes for the future in a Mass Observation diary on 12 May

A black and white image of a man's hand writing in a notebook.

On 12th May 2021 the Mass Observation Archive will be repeating its national call for day diaries, capturing the everyday lives of people across the UK. 

As we post this call, lockdown restrictions are lifting. We don’t know how life will be on 12th May, but we would like your help to document it.

In 2020 Mass Observation received over 5,000 diaries, which have already been used to support research, teaching and learning. We understand it continues to be a difficult time for lots of people and we were incredibly touched that so many people chose to share their stories with Mass Observation last year. 

We would love to hear from you again to find out how your life is a year on. If you didn’t send a diary in last year, why not join in this year and tell us about your life now in 2021?

Diaries can record 12th May and reflect back over the past year, or look forward to the future and life beyond this year. Share your lives, your hopes and your dreams with Mass Observation for future generations.

People of all ages from across the UK are welcome to take part.  

Community groups
We welcome diaries from schoolchildren, community groups, prisons or other organisations. Diaries can be written in any style and can include drawings, photographs, prose or poetry. 

Packs on our website are designed for schools and groups wanting to post their diaries to the Archive. There is a downloadable diary template and further resources to explore.

How to take part
Diaries in electronic form as email attachments (Word documents preferably) can be sent to Physical/hard-copy diaries can be posted to MOA. 

You can also take part on Twitter. Tweet your day using the hashtag #12May21

For full details see the Mass Observation 12th May webpage. Email with questions and follow the team on Twitter @MassObsArchive for the latest updates.

The Mass Observation Archive is housed at The Keep near campus, as part of the University of Sussex Special Collections. Find out more about using the collection in your own teaching or research.