For quick access to high quality information for your assignments, try the links on these pages.

Set up the University VPN system to access these resources any time, anywhere.


Themes covered include: childhood and family, objects, food, disability, the body, the home, women, dress and fashion, theatre, animals, the sea, work, leisure and consumption etc. Each theme goes from antiquity through to the 21st century giving you a vast selection of online chapters to access. You can search by time or place as well as by theme.

Additional access instructions:

For off campus access  use this link

Explore five centuries of primary source material documenting the story of food and drink. The story of food and drink is a unique lens through which to view social and cultural history. The materials in this collection illustrate the deep links between food and identity, politics, power, gender, race, and socio-economic status, as well as charting key issues such as agriculture, nutrition, and food production.

You can access printed and manuscript cookbooks, advertising ephemera, government reports, films, and illustrated content revealing the evolution of food and drink within everyday life and the public sphere. The unique material in this collection has been sourced from across the globe to reflect a wide range of food cultures and traditions, creating an unparalleled research resource.

Additional access instructions:

Authentication required for off campus access


Use this site to find Government information from departments, publications or statistics.
H.M. Treasury is particularly useful for publications and statistics.

The first place to look for authoritative UK government information. The Inside Government section has links to all major departments such as the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice, plus No. 10 and the Cabinet Office.

Launched in 1981 by the University of Sussex as a rebirth of the original 1937 Mass Observation, this aims to document the social history of Britain by recruiting volunteers to write about their lives and opinions. It is one of the most important sources available for qualitative social data in the UK. This collection consists of the directives (questionnaires) sent out by Mass Observation in the 1980s/1990s and the thousands of responses from the hundreds of Mass Observers on topics such as elections, Europe, AIDS, the miners' strike, Britishness, the fall of the Berlin Wall, TV soaps, family life, education, the National Lottery, the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Watch this quick overview of the material covering the 1990s.

We have the reports from the 1980s and 1990s as nothing past 2000 has been published yet. 

Additional access instructions:

Authentication required for off campus access

fully searchable in EBSCO Discovery

A key source about daily life in the 20th century. You can look at topic collections (1938-65) on juvenile delinquency, holidays, leisure, industry etc., or view diary entries (1939-51) and day surveys. File reports (1937-1972) cover subjects such as propaganda, morale, popular culture, food, shopping, sex, fashion and much more.

Watch this 90 second video to find out about the interactive chronology you can access within Mass Observation.

Additional access instructions:

Use VPN for off campus access

Material collected by Mass Observation during the COVID-19 pandemic, including diaries and writing created by people living in the UK

This site unpacks the issues of migration, identity and diversity facing contemporary societies. It features information, stories, images and learning resources, with links and further reading to follow up. Read about new research on the histories and cultures of Britain's diverse communities. The Migration Histories section looks at some major historical migrations and how they have helped shape the UK.

A useful blog from Bristol University Press/Policy Press with current coverage of (mostly UK) social issues. The aim of Transforming Society is to have an impact, from bringing research to a place where it can affect national, local or global policies, to changing the way one person views the world.

fully searchable in EBSCO Discovery

Search or browse one of the most detailed primary sources for the history of Britain and its former colonies. Reports from military officers serving abroad are included, as well as Command Papers, Bills, Committee reports. Hansard is available from 1803-2005. (See UK Parliament link if you need more recent papers.)

Access the daily record of debates in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords right up to the present (the Weekly Information Bulletin, business papers, Committee publications and Register of Members' Interests are also available). Includes Hansard.


Your Subject Team

 Anne Worden

Faculty Librarian


phone (023) 9284 3243

 Sharon Bittner

Assistant Faculty Librarian


phone (023) 9284 3234