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Home arrow Marketing Research News arrow Latest Company News And Announcements arrow MRS Calls On Research Industry To Help Preserve Its Rich History
MRS Calls On Research Industry To Help Preserve Its Rich History PDF Print E-mail
Written by Market Research Society   
11 Jul 2016

The Market Research Society (MRS) is proud to support the launch of a new charity within the research industry.  The Archive of Market and Social Research (AMSR) has been created to preserve records of market and social research in the UK, ultimately making them available for study in a professionally curated archive.

In the rush to digital, many materials tracing the development of an industry now worth £4.8 billion GVA to the UK economy have not been properly catalogued.  There is a real risk that more could be lost in the next few years as memories fade and paper records are abandoned.  

The new archive is an opportunity to preserve these materials, and with them fascinating evidence of the social, political and commercial priorities of the UK from the 1930s through to the present day.  This will benefit not only current market research practitioners and their clients, but anyone interested in Britain’s fascinating social history: policy makers, academics, students and the general public.

The AMSR is collaborating with the History of Advertising Trust, which will be housing the archive and making the records available to the public.  The charity is already collecting records, both physical and digital, all of which need to be assessed and collated.  AMSR is appealing for those within the sector to alert them to historical material which deserves archiving for the future.  As the pioneers of market and social research are now in their 90s the need to document the early years of this unique sector is becoming urgent.

Jane Frost CBE, CEO of MRS commented:

“The UK has led the world in market and social research from the beginning.  Many will be familiar with the Mass-Observation project which pioneered social research during the Second World War and inspired Victoria’s Wood’s ITV drama ‘Housewife, 49’.  It’s amazing resources like this we need to protect.  

“We’ve seen in the past how easily records can be lost or damaged if not properly curated: the AMSR aims to prevent that from happening again.  2016 marks MRS’ 70th year: it’s the perfect time to put in place a system to preserve this vital window on the UK’s economic and social history.  

“MRS is asking the entire research community to come together and get involved, either by contributing historic materials or supporting the archive financially.  Preserving our history is immensely important.”

Liz Nelson OBE, the charity’s chair and one of the driving forces behind the establishment of TNS (now a major part of the WPP group) said:

“This is not just the history of a new industry which now plays a vital role in the British economy, it’s part of our cultural history too.  Market and social research has charted the evolution of our society and its attitudes, playing a vital role in areas from advertising to public policy.  It’s vital we try to capture everything we can.  

“If you are a retired researcher with documents that you think might be suitable for the archive, do get in touch.  Our team would love to take a look.”
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