Mary Adams Papers

Scope and Content

Manuscript, typed, duplicated and printed papers collected during Mrs Adams's term as Director, Home Intelligence, Ministry of Information, including papers on the sections' establishment and organisation; daily and weekly intelligence reports; special reports on morale (some by Mass-Observation; with some photographs); memoranda on and scripts for radio broadcasts; and papers on and reports by the War-time Social Survey.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mary Grace Agnes Adams (born Campin; 1898-1984) graduated from University College, Cardiff and went to Cambridge as a research student and then as a lecturer for the Extra-Mural Board and the Board of Civil Service Studies. She joined the staff of the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1930. During the Second World War she served in the Ministry of Information, as Director, Home Intelligence (1939-41) and North American Broadcasting (1942-45). Returning to the BBC, she was Head of Talks and Current Affairs (1945-54) and Assistant to Controller of Television (1954-58). Public offices included membership of the Independent Television Authority (1965-70), and deputy chairmanship of the Consumers' Association (1958-70). (Who was who, 1981-1990.)

Access Information

The collection is open to all bona fide researchers, by appointment only, telephone or email a week in advance of your intended visit. Researchers must abide by the conditions protecting the collection.

Acquisition Information

Given by Mrs Mary Adams in 1979 to the Mass-Observation Archive Trust which deposited with the University of Sussex. Additional material from Ian McLaine and Michael Balfour.


Prepared by John Farrant, September 2002.

Other Finding Aids

A handlist is available in the Library.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction conditions vary. Please consult the Head of Special Collections.

Related Material

Papers of former staff of the War-time Social Survey, while run under the auspices of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and before being assimilated into the Ministry of Information, are in:

SxMs 12, War-time Social Survey, 1940-1941 (anonymous and S. Clement Brown)

SxMOA 17, War-time Social Survey, 1940-1941 (Frederick Brown)

SxMOA 18, War-time Social Survey, 1940-1941 (Mary Burns).