It has long been thought by senior research practitioners that significant mutual advantages could be gained by improving their connections with the academic community. And now it is becoming clear that the path towards that will be made much easier by developing awareness and use of the Archive of Market and Social Research.

Initial discussions led by Phyllis Macfarlane, Chair of the AMSR Content Committee, particularly with social historians from several universities, have shown that their interests are many and varied, and that the Archive contains a great deal of historical material for many PhDs and Theses. Particularly appreciated is the realisation that most of it is in digital form.

Among the topics identified as being of interest to the few academics initially contacted were consumerism, leisure and hobbies, photography, pet ownership, children’s sweets, obesity, fashion, youth culture, cigarette advertising, home dining habits, the Pink Pound, and the cultural impact of immigration.

The discovery that the Archive contains much more information on these topics from across the last 50+ years than other sources is particularly exciting to those who have become aware of it. To give just a few examples, the Archive contains:

  • 38 reports on pets and pet ownership, from the TGI, NOP, CRAM and other sources
  • At least 30 reports on photography
  • 96 reports on immigration and race relations.

As one university professor exclaimed “This is pure gold!”, and the next priority for the AMSR must be to make more UK (and foreign) university academics aware of the treasure trove of historical data that the Archive has.

If you haven’t yet visited the Archive yourself, we recommend reading our page ‘How to get the most out of the archive’ before diving in!


Contributed by Peter Bartram

Date posted: 15th February 2021

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