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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Blog records Britons' daily lives
Blogging Britain in a day
Organisers want an electronic snapshot of everyday life in Britain
Thousands of people across Britain have contributed to a project aiming to create an online archive of a day in the life of the country.

The National Trust is encouraging people to record a diary of their day on a website, as part of what is being called "Britain's biggest blog".

The trust says it will create a "fascinating social history archive" of everyday life for future generations.

By 1800 BST (1700 GMT) more than 8,000 people had contributed to the site.

People who want to contribute to the project have until 31 October to upload their account of the 17 October 2006.

Their blogs will be stored at the British Library and at other locations.

Extraordinary snapshot

The project was inspired by the Mass Observation Archive which was set up in the late 1930s to let ordinary people record their lives in diaries for future generations.

It may be that historians in the future will be amazed that on 17 October 2006 we were still eating meat or driving privately owned cars
David Cannadine, of the Institute for Historical Research

Since 1970 the archive has been housed at the University of Sussex.

Tuesday has been picked as an "ordinary day much like any other of no particular national significance".

National Trust director general Fiona Reynolds said: "We want this day to have its own place in history and be a snapshot of everyday life at the beginning of the 21st Century."

The trust says the emphasis does not have to be on recording exciting events.

Historian Dan Snow said they had wanted to choose a "run-of-the-mill day".

He said: "What we want this to be is a detailed account of people's normal lives when they're doing nothing out of the ordinary; what they did when they got up, what they ate, how they got to work, what they did at work.

"It's those mundane details, those boring details that will seem extraordinary to people hundreds of years in the future."

David Cannadine, of the Institute for Historical Research, said: "The wonderful thing about these records is we don't yet know what it is about them that will be interesting in the future.

"It may be that historians in the future will be amazed that on 17 October 2006 we were still eating meat or driving privately owned cars."

To get involved people should:

  • Record a diary of their day - it can be anything from 100 to 650 words long

  • Log on to the History Matters website (via the link to the right), and follow the instructions on uploading their blog/diary

  • Diaries can be uploaded from 17 to 31 October 2006

  • Urge friends, family and colleagues to do the same

  • Watch the History Matters website for details of how the archive can be accessed in the future

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