Records of the Survey Research Associates: Scottish Leisure Survey, 1981

Scope and Content

  • Completed questionnaires: There are c.3,000 pre-printed questionnaires, each consisting of 21 pages. Questions are numerically coded, apart from a few brief comments written by the interviewer. Subjects covered include : sports, gardens, leisure, holiday activities and demographic information. 1981
  • Incomplete questionnaires: These are random bundles of incomplete questionnaires, most of which only consist of the first page while the rest of the pages have been removed. Some of the questionnaires are intact, however, with only the first page complete. The respondents were unable to complete these for one of several reasons: for example, they refused, they were unavailable, they had moved house. 1981
  • Diaries: These are 18-page A5 printed booklets with the respondent's name, address and the date the diary began. There are separate lines for every fifteen minutes of the day where the respondent can insert details of his activities for a total of seven days. All of the bundles of diaries have a number at the top which corresponds to the numbers on the bundles of analyses. The diaries in the final bundle (UGC 61/3/25) are miscellaneous and do not have any corresponding analyses. 1981
  • Analyses: These are structured analysis coding sheets based on the results of the diaries. They are arranged in numbered bundles corresponding to the diaries. 1982
  • Methodological reports and commentaries: These are reports and commentaries on selected information from the questionnaires and diaries. 1982
  • Data compilation reports: These are six folders of information on the individual interviewers and the hours worked in various constituencies. There is also information on the electoral position for each household which is coded and cannot be interpreted alone. 1982

Administrative / Biographical History

The records of the Survey Research Associates resulted from research commissioned by three bodies: Scottish Natural Heritage (formerly The Countryside Commission for Scotland), The Scottish Tourist Board and The Scottish Sports Council. They commissioned Survey Research Associates to carry out the survey in order to discover the recreational activities of Scottish residents in 1981  . The collection consists of 62 boxes of printed structured questionnaires, filled in by the interviewer; 5 boxes of incomplete questionnaires; 12 boxes of printed structured time diaries, filled in by the subjects; 4 boxes of analysis coding sheets; 1 box of methodological reports and 1 box of administrative material.


This material is arranged into six series as described in the scope and content note. Within the first series, questionnaires, the items are arranged numerically according to constituency number. The second series, incomplete questionnaires, cannot be arranged in any meaningful way. The arrangement of the diaries, analyses, reports and administrative material reflects the original order in which they were received.

Access Information

Access for bona fide academic research only until 31 December 2056 and open thereafter. Research proposals in writing, giving at least two month's notice and the names of two academic referees, should be sent to The University Archivist, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ.

Acquisition Information

Transfer: Dorothy Sheridan : Mass Observation Archive, University of Sussex Library, Brighton, BN1 9QL : 01 July 1998 : ACCN: 1701*

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

Electronic copy data entry is available from the Data Archive at the University of Essex .

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

There are corroding metal staples in all of the questionnaires, diaries and analyses which should be removed at some point in the future. A small number of the sheets in UGC 61/6/1-UGC 61/6/6 are badly damaged around the edges and so photocopying will not be possible until conservation treatment has been carried out.

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Alison Adlard, Archive Assistant, May 2002.

Conditions Governing Use

The sponsors retain copyright (Scottish Natural Heritage, The Scottish Tourist Board and The Scottish Sports Council). Otherwise the collection is subject to usual conditions; educational use and condition of documents. Any work intended for publication, using information collected from the diaries and questionnaires may be published in academic reports, the journals of learned societies or institutes, and in university monographs without the written permission of the sponsors, providing that there is acknowledgement of: i) the sponsors' copyright, ii) the sponsors' funding of the data collection, iii) the collection of the data by Survey Research Associates; and providing that copies of the published work are sent to the Scottish Natural Heritage (2 Anderson Place, Edinburgh, EH6 5NP), the Scottish Tourist Board (23 Ravelston Terrace, Edinburgh, EH4 3EU), and the Scottish Sports Council (1 St Colme Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6AA).

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

In around 1983, Professor Jonathan Gershuny was studying time use as part of his research at the University of Sussex. He decided to re-analyse the time diaries and the Mass Observation Archive, University of Sussex, agreed to accept the collection from the Countryside Commission for Scotland, Perth. In 1998, Dorothy Sheridan, Archivist for the Mass Observation Archive was advised by their trustees to relocate some of their collections and the University of Glasgow agreed to accept the collection.


None expected

Related Material

No related material

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Geographical Names