Films and the Home Front — the evaluation of their effectiveness by ‘Mass-Observation’
I am in a slightly difficult position here and I should like to explain myself a little before coming to my subject. In the nature of things what I am talking about always tends to be critical; and, further, it is based on material collected by Mass-Observation 30 years ago — since when I have spent 25 years living in South-East Asia. I have come back from the jungle to this old vomit, now housed in the University of Sussex as a separate archive. It is not always easy to interpret it properly today. So I am going to rely mainly on a long series of typewritten documents (what we call file reports in our archive) done principally for the Ministry of Information. Curiously enough, I have never been able to find my letter of employment from them. But Dr Ian McLaine has discovered it in the Public Record Office. It is so typical of the whole Ministry of Information set-up that it was signed by Leigh Ashton, later distinguished Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. I did not even know he was in Bloomsbury’s war-time Tower of White Words.
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