One Day for Life 1987

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 181 SxMOA 15
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      77 boxes; 31 cubic feet Mainly colour photographic negatives and prints.

Scope and Content

Approximately 100,000 photographs, almost all in colour and most measuring 6 by 4 inches, and the negatives of the 4000 short-listed photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Search '88 was an organisation raising funds for cancer research and palliative care. It organised a photographic competition in which contestants sent, with an entry fee of 1, a photograph taken on 14 August 1987 to 'capture' the essence of Britain in the pattern of their lives'. Some 100,000 photographs were received; 4000 were shortlisted and of those 350 were published in One Day for Life: photographs by the people of Britain, taken on a single day (London: Bantam Press, 1987).


Since deposit, the short-listed prints have been arranged in 22 major subject categories. The first nine of 38 boxes of other photographs have been classified by a different subject classification. The remaining boxes have not been sorted.

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 in 1990 by Search '88, through Hambros Bank, to the Mass-Observation Archive Trust which deposited the collection with the University of Sussex.


Prepared by John Farrant, September 2002.

Other Finding Aids

A brief note for researchers is available in the Library. There is no index to the photographs.

Conditions Governing Use

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


One Day for Life: photographs by the people of Britain, taken on a single day, with a foreword by HRH the Duchess of York (London: Bantam Press, 1987)

Corporate Names