Record your coronavirus diary for future generations

RESIDENTS are being invited to record their experiences and thoughts about the coronavirus crisis for future generations to study.

County archivist Michael Page said Surrey History Centre is asking people to keep a diary, which they can donate for historical preservation when the pandemic has ended and daily life has returned to some normality.

Jill Hyams, one of the archivists at Surrey History Centre, is keen to receive residents’ recollections of the coronavirus crisis

“These are challenging and exceptional times said Michael. “Few, if any of us will have experienced such a seismic shift in our daily lives in so short a time.”.

“Your personal record will be a valuable and fascinating historical source for future generations, helping them to understand and appreciate what we are all experiencing today. Your diaries will be invaluable to future historians who want to see behind the official record.”

The diary does not have to be in written form and can be in any format, such as sound or video recording, photos or drawings.

“It can be long or short, a daily record or weekly reflection,” Michael added. “All we ask is that it is an honest reflection of your emotions and that you share it with us at Surrey History Centre so that it can become part of the county’s memory, curated and preserved by us for future generations.

“We are hoping that people of all ages and communities across the county will take part. We especially encourage children to submit their diaries as part of an activity with a parent or guardian. It could even form the basis of a group activity undertaken by your school online as a virtual classroom activity.”

He said that diaries can be anonymous to maintain personal privacy. “But it would be helpful to know gender, age and the name of your town or village or even simply the first part of your postcode.

“You can express your wishes about this when you decide the time is right to share your diary with us.”

Diaries can be delivered to the history centre in Goldsworth Road, Woking, when it reopens, sent by mail or submitted by email or by electronic transfer software.

Lauren Stevens, the events and promotions officer at Surrey Heritage, said there was already a lot of interest in the project with families and community groups keen to be involved.

Lauren said that some people were relating how they were using the time at home to learn new skills and take up hobbies.

To contact the Surrey History Centre, email shs@surreycc.gov.uk or write to the project at 130 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 6ND.

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