Capturing and recording these unprecedented times

Capturing and recording these unprecedented times

12 May 2020

We’re living through a historic time. A time which, just like the First and Second World Wars, we and the generations who follow us will remember, debate, study and commemorate.

Although we haven't been able to open as planned, we’re keen to gather peoples’ images, stories, mementos and more, so we can record these strange times and share them in the future - and we’d love your help with this.

An image of the government-issued Coronavirus letter and leaflet

Do you have items at home or work, such as:

  • Diaries – either physical or digital (please don’t worry about confidentiality – we can restrict access for as long as required)
  • Formal records of organisations that have been at the sharp end of dealing with the pandemic – eg minutes and strategy documents
  • Business records such as publicity material, leaflets and posters relating to Covid-19 procedures and restrictions
  • Oral recordings and/or videos
  • Photographs

We can’t take donations or deposits of materials at the moment, but will be able to once we’re open. Although we can't guarantee we'll take everything we're offered, we'd love to get an idea of what you have.

How do I submit my material?

  • If you have any physical materials you think would be of interest to us, please take a good quality image of them and send it to our Collections Team for consideration
  • If you have any digital materials you think would be of interest to us, please send copies of them to our Collections Team for consideration. If you're submitting photographs they should be jpegs or TIFF files, 300 dpi and around 4000/5000 pixels
  • If you're submitting anything that features a person or people it should be accompanied by a signed consent form - you can download one below
  • Please title your message ‘Life in Lockdown’
  • If you're sending lots or large images please use wetransfer

Keeping your materials safe

Wishing tree photographed in Victoria Park, Plymouth in April 2020

Here are some tips for keeping your materials safe and in a good condition:

  • Put them to one side is kept in a clean, dark, dry environment, free of pests and mould, which has a stable (not overly hot) temperature
  • If possible, put them in a box
  • Don’t use sellotape, rubber bands or metal paper clips to keep things together
  • If you’re keeping digital content, try and store the best possible version you have somewhere where it's safe and easily retrievable

The Box already contains many stories of people from prehistoric times to the present day. You can help us continue that work in these unprecedented times. We look forward to hearing from you.