BBC Time Diaries, 1961

Scope and Content

Printed structured diary booklets completed by members of the public.

Administrative / Biographical History

From 1938, to assess how people used their time, the Audience Research department of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) periodically commissioned members of the public to complete printed structured diary booklets. One such survey was conducted in 1961, the data from which was reanalysed in the mid-1970s by Dr Jonathan Gershuny, while a Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex.

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

Deposited by Jonathan Gershuny in 1987, with the Mass-Observation Archive Trust which has deposited the collection with the University of Sussex.


Prepared by John Farrant, September 2002.

Other Finding Aids


Conditions Governing Use

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

Related Material

SxMOA 13 Time diaries on use of leisure time, 1983-84


See British Broadcasting Corporation, The People's activities (London: BBC, 1965), and J. I. Gershuny and S. Jones, 'Changing use of time: Britain 1961 to 1984', in Sport, leisure and social relations, edited by John Horne, David Jary and Alan Tomlinson, Sociological Review Monographs, 33 (1987), 9-50.