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Online Form - Albany Community Observation Survey

Albany Community Observation Project


The Albany Public Library invites you to be part of an exciting initiative inspired by the British based Mass Observation Project.  We want to capture a day-to-day snapshot of our lives in a writing project which records our responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Your contributions will be a valuable perspective of the time.  The material of the project will be collected, preserved and made publicly accessible in the Albany History Collection for ongoing research and reference. 


In 1937, a ground-breaking social research project was established in Britain to record the everyday experiences of communities.  Personal experiences recorded in diaries and photographs during the global upheaval of WWII, gave a valuable insight to how Britons lived in a time of crisis.

The global impact of coronavirus has changed the way we live at every level of society.  At a local level, we want you to tell us how we really live.  Your experiences and observations are critical in painting a picture of our community in rapidly changing and challenging times. Collectively, your contributions become a valuable tool for research, teaching, learning and understanding the past.

Completing the survey

As an observer, you will be asked to provide a ‘self-portrait’ of yourself, identified only with initials (not necessarily your own), gender, year of birth, the suburb or area of Albany in which you live and your house number.   It is important to use the same personal details on subsequent surveys you complete as consistency allows us to follow changes in mood, sentiment and writing style of an observer in response to changing times.  If you live outside the municipal area of Albany, you are encouraged to participate although identifying your area is important to us. 

Open-ended questions invite responses to a particular topic such as shopping, leisure and relaxation, work and the way in which enforced restrictions have impacted upon our way of life.  Observations are principally captured in a written diary format, entered underneath the topic being discussed.  Nothing is too trivial to record.  Written expression of your experiences, thoughts, opinions and everyday observations provides a unique and rare opportunity to capture first-hand the mood and sentiments of our community. 

The survey must be completed within three days.  Once begun, it can be saved and returned to until completed within this time.

History is told through various forms of artistic expression and provision has been made for some topics, to upload a photograph, sketch, poem, voice recording or image of an artwork or sculpture applicable to the subject.

Thank you for your interest and participation.

Save Your Progress

You have the ability to save this form and complete it at a later date. An email will be generated and sent to the specified address.

Note: Incomplete forms are kept for a period of 2 day(s), after this time the system will automatically delete your response.


Please record your experiences, feelings and observations including what you see and what you hear in the community at this point of time.

Max File Size: 10.00 MB
Allowed File Types: .avi, .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .pdf, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx

If you would like to be a regular responder to future surveys associated with the project, please leave us your email address before submitting.

I agree to donate my written reflections (and any attached material) to the Albany History Collection.  I consent to the information being made publicly available as part of the Albany Community Observation Project and assign copyright of my contributions to the Albany History Collection where it may be used for research and reference purposes, reproduced in part or in full in publications, broadcasts, in media, exhibitions, artistic works or on websites approved by the Albany History Collection which assumes responsibility for the control of the information received.


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