Medway Archives Centre aims to help people discover the stories of Medway’s people and places. We look after and make available historic records. But we also need to collect records about today so that future generations have access to material which helps them understand how we live now.
We’re creating a community archive of diaries and other records about the current coronavirus pandemic. This is so that researchers can access first-hand accounts of this crisis and how it affected people that live or work in Medway. This will be kept at the Medway Archives Centre.
What to contribute
Diaries and scrapbooks
You could keep a daily or weekly diary or scrapbook recording your experiences of this period. There’s no specific information that you need to record, or right or wrong way of approaching this. Diaries do not need to be long or detailed. They are about your experiences of the pandemic written in any way you choose.
Diaries do not need to be completely or wholly prose. They could be, or could include, collages, drawings, photographs, poetry and other forms of creative writing. They could be on paper or in an electronic format like MS Word.
It’s important to capture a variety of viewpoints to create a more rounded picture of the crisis and how it’s affecting the people who live or work in Medway. So you could encourage your friends, family, children, grandparents, school friends, and teachers to do a diary.
Ephemera like flyers, posters, neighbourhood notices and leaflets
If you see any ephemera about the coronavirus crisis or its impact, consider keeping them and depositing them with Medway Archives Centre.
Photos and artwork
You may be taking photographs of the pandemic’s impact (like empty shelves and roads, signs and notices in windows about closures or shortages) or creating artwork (such as rainbow pictures for windows).
Remember to make a note of the location of the photograph, and the date you took it.
If you’re taking photographs intended for the archive, make sure that you have people’s permission to photograph them, or that people are unidentifiable.
How to contribute
As we’re currently closed we cannot accept any material into Medway Archives Centre yet. Please keep anything you’d like to contribute safe until we reopen.
If you're thinking of contributing, or have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll send you further guidance about what will happen if you decide to contribute to the community archive.
Privacy and personal information
As the archive will be publicly accessible, we’re conscious of personal, private, and sensitive information.
When you send us your contribution, we’ll ask if you’d like to close your contribution for a number of years, or anonymise it. You should bear these options in mind if you want to contribute to the archive. You should also consider the privacy of third parties featured in your contribution.
Other local archives
If you do not live or work in Medway consider contacting your local archive to see if they have a similar initiative. Many other local archives are also collecting in this way, including:
- Mass Observation
- Glasgow City Archives
- University of Stirling Archive
- Surrey History Centre
- Suffolk Archives
- West Sussex Record Office
- Dorset History Centre
- West Dunbartonshire Archives
- The Borthwick Institute for Archives, York
Nominate a website you think should be archived
You can also nominate websites for inclusion in the UK Web Archive. Find more details on the Web Archive website.