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Mass-Observation Archive: Topic Collections

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TC 52: 1 box only

52/1/A: Amateur Photography/Wartime Photography Restrictions

Printed Card shaped like a roll of film, assuring people that photography is not banned and advertising "Willrose" famous for "Magna Prints"

Printed Card/Pamphlet, bearing "Extract from War Office Announcement re photography, 7.2.40" and instruction to "carry this card with you to show should you be questioned when using your camera"; Inside of card lists "Some Unrestricted Subjects for the Camera"; Outside cover contains a list of prohibited items to be photographed; printed by John Swain & Son Ltd, London, (date-stamped 8.7.40)

Printed Pamphlet: "Statutory Rules and Orders 1939 No. 1125: Emergency Powers (Defence) Control of Photography" contains a list of prohibited items to be photographed under "The Control of Photography Order (No. 1), 1939... made by the Secretary of State for War....... "; printed and published by HMSO, 1939-price 1d net (received by LE)

Printed Booklet: "What photographs can I take in war-time?"-"some suggestions by Selo"-contains a list of prohibited items to be photographed, with suggestions of subjects for photography, such as country scenes, family snapshots-and how to obtain the best results from materials and apparatus according to the circumstances, tips on shutter speeds and distances and recommending various types of Selo films throughout and the "Selo Text Book of Amateur Photography"; issued by Ilford Ltd, Ilford, London (received by NM, 19.7.40)

Printed Leaflet: "Photography in War-Time" with Extract from The Photographic Journal and slogan "Photograph Scenes not Soldiers......" and recommending "Wellcome" Exposure, Calculator, Handbook and Diary"; reassures amateur photographers on misinterpreted rumours about wartime photography and gives hints on Developing and Printing at home; published for the benefit of Amateur Photographers, by Burroughs Wellcome & Co (received by LE, Nov.1940)

Booklet advertising "Selochrome and Selo Hypersensitive Panchromatic Film Packs", lists qualities and sizes of each; issued by Ilford Ltd, Ilford, London (received by NM, 24.5.40)

Printed Pamphlet, with photograph of child pushing hind-quarters of donkey on the sands, advertising Selochrome; issued by Ilford Ltd, Ilford, London (received by NM, 19.7.40)

Printed Booklet: "Print-Making at Home on Selo Paper", 14 pages with illustrated instructions on all aspects of making prints; issued by Ilford Ltd, Ilford, London (received by NM, 24.5.40)

Printed Leaflet, advertising "Polyfoto"; issued by Pratts of Streatham (received by LE Sept.1940)

Extracts from The British Journal of Photography on the value of photography, including extract from an article, 1.12.39

Copy, handwritten, 15.3.40 The British Journal of Photography, "Ex Cathedra" (editorial)

Copy, typewritten, 5 pages, 8.9.39 The British Journal of Photography "Ex Cathedra" (editorial) (VMD)

Short Extract from Editorial extolling the virtues of colour photography (VMD)

Extract from an article from The Amateur Photographer on home cinematography


  • Letter, typewritten, to "Len" from "Christopher" 19.7.40, on technical matters and wartime photography; and Letter 28.7.40, mainly on photographic hints and tips and recommending some text books
  • Letter, typewritten, to "Bob" from "Leonard" on M-O photography, 31.7.40 (LE)

Collection of close-up Photographs, 2 sets, of people and animals and related typewritten note, 30.1.40 (HDW)

52/1/B: Photographs, Equipment and Competitions

Receipts, 2, for collecting unsolicited photographs from Cine-Photo and Superior Cine Films, London

Printed Leaflet on Johnson's Photographic Competitions, 1940, listing subjects, prizes and rules; issued by Johnson and Sons, Manufacturing Chemists, London, NW4, (received by TH, 30.11.40)

Zeiss Ikon:

  • Printed Pamphlet: "Revised Price List of Zeiss Ikon Cameras and Accessories"; (received by NM, 24.5.40)
  • Small Illustrated Catalogue; (received by NM, 24.5.40)


  • Printed Pamphlet explaining types and uses of colour filters; (received by NM, 24.5.40)
  • Booklets/Catalogues, 2, of cameras and accessories; (received by NM, 24.5.40)

Printed Leaflet advertising Leica Cameras and accessories; (received by NM, 24.5.40)

Printed Leaflet advertising the Ace Camera for home movies by Pathescope; (received by NM, 24.5.40)

Illustrated Booklet: "Voigtlander 1939" advertising "Voigtlander" equipment, cameras and films; issued by Penrose (Cine) Ltd, London (received by LE, Nov.1940)

Illustrated Leaflet, "Pathescope" advertising "Home Movie" cameras; (received by NM, 24.5.40)

Illustrated Leaflet advertising Leica Cameras, Enlargers and Projectors; (received by NM, 24.5.40)

52/1/C: Photographs Test

Questionnaires, typewritten, with responses, handwritten, from interviewees and filled in by investigators, on reactions to photographs shown to them, including questions on picking out pictures in order of preference, 5-7.11.47 (place of survey not mentioned-LB, BS, IPS, DH)

Analysis sheets with numerical results of Likes and Dislikes from Questionnaire

52/1/D: Interviewees' Comments on Photographs and Posters

Explanation and list of photographs on exhibition of Official War Photographs at the Victoria Institute, 13.8.40 (JA)

Explanatory Note on photographs in photographers' shop windows and show cases, in Fulham and District and Bond St, London, 13.8.40 (HP)

Informal interviews of reactions to a poster (of a photograph of a mother and baby) in Streatham, London, typewritten, 9.10.40 (LE)

Conclusion, typewritten, on impressions or reactions to poster and suggestions of slogans, 9.10.40 (LE)

Overheard conversation, typewritten, between an old man and a girl outside a newsagents window in London, about some war pictures in the Birmingham Post

52/1/E: Picture Ballot Aug-Sept 1944: Soldiers and Pin-ups

Explanation of ballot with questionnaire, typewritten, with filled-in answers, handwritten-Picture Ballot, 31.8.44-2.9.44 at the Nuffield Centre questions concerned with favourite to least liked pin-ups-about 80 QQs. some with comments on back; (article resulting from this published in Picture Post 23.9.44)

Coded results of QQs handwritten

Report and comments on interviews, handwritten, 2.9.44 (NM)

Direct interviews, handwritten and Overheard conversations, mostly amongst servicemen, 31.8.44-2.9.44 (NM)

Mass-Observation Studies 1937-55

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