Centre for the History of War and Society

Onsite resources

Researchers of the history of war and society at Sussex can draw on range of resources at the Keep, a purpose-built home for the historical resources and archives of East Sussex and Brighton & Hove, and the Special Collections of the University of Sussex.


  More information about the Keep

Mass Observation

MO Britain coverThe internationally acclaimed Mass Observation Archive specialises in material about everyday life in Britain. It contains papers generated by the original Mass Observation social research organisation (1937 to early 1950s), and newer material collected continuously since 1981.

The archive of the original Mass Observation social research organisation represents a unique sample of public opinion and experience between 1937 and the 1950s. The collection contains file reports, diaries, directive replies and topic collections. It is one of the most important resources in the world for studying the everyday lives of British people during the Second World War.

In 1981, a new Mass Observation project was launched from the Archive. The Project resurrected the original Mass Observation idea of collecting accounts of everyday life from a national panel of writers. Thousands of people have taken part since 1981. Topics range from personal experience to matters of opinion. Material on the Falklands War, the Gulf War, and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a retrospective on the World Wars, will be of particular interest to researchers interested in the history of war and society.

Please see the Special Collections website for more details.

Papers of the Centre for German Jewish Studies

German Jewish papers

The establishment of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex in 1994 has attracted the deposit of various collections that reflect the study of political, cultural and everyday life German-Jewish history, in particular the history of Jewish refugees and their families to the United Kingdom during and after the Second World War. The collections are housed in Special Collections and catalogues are currently available for the two largest collections - the Elton/Ehrenberg Papers and the Arnold Daghani Collection. A catalogue of other holdings is now in preparation.

Please see the Special Collections website for more details.

Other relevant collections

MO diary 1941Special Collections at the University of Sussex also holds several other manuscript collections which contain material of interest to researchers studying the history of war and society. The papers of Rudyard Kipling contain material relating to his work with the War Graves Commission following the First World War, while the papers of Leonard Woolf contain documents relating to the League of Nations. The Eugene W Schulkind Paris Commune Collection is the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom, and documents in extraordinary detail the events of 1871 in Paris, following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War.

Please see the Special Collections website for more details.