As this pandemic unfolds, our daily lives have been and will continue to be affected by unprecedented decisions, restrictions and realities. As archivists we started to ask ourselves this week – ‘How will we document this? What can we gather to preserve the reality of this period for the future?’ and we have taken inspiration from our colleagues at Glasgow City Archives and decided to ask for your help.
We’re encouraging residents in the NHS Forth Valley area to keep a daily diary documenting your experiences with coronavirus so that we can preserve the many varied experiences that we are all going through for future generations.
Entries can be as long or as short and as detailed as you would like to make them. You could add drawings and creative writing or keep it to prose. Document how you feel, what your routine is like, what you’re doing with your days, how the situation is affecting you and the people you care about. No detail is too small to record if you feel comfortable doing so, from what you ate for breakfast to what Netflix show or book is seeing you through.
We want to use these to show the whole range of experiences unfolding during this time so you could encourage your children to keep a diary, your parents, and grandparents. We’d love for everyone to have a chance to contribute to this collective account and for it to be as representative of the region as it can be.
Once our lives become a bit more normal, we will post details of how to get your diaries to us. Once they arrive, they will form a part of our NHS Forth Valley collection and be made available to researchers and archive users of the future. Though we will always treat personal information with sensitivity and may, therefore, restrict the public use of your diary for an extended period of time, it is also your choice should you wish to remain anonymous. Whether or not you would like to remain anonymous is perhaps something you would like to consider before you begin writing your diary.
We will accept hand written or electronic diaries, whichever you prefer to keep. We hope that this process might also provide you with a therapeutic way to spend some time and so it is for you, as well as for us. Please don’t worry about what we would like you to be recording, record what life is like for you and, ultimately, the things that are making up your days and you cannot go wrong.
If you have any questions about the project, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org