Covid-19 Lockdown Collection

Call for citizens to submit materials for new ‘Covid-19 Lockdown Collection’ archive

Dublin City Library and Archive is issuing a call to people all over the city to submit materials documenting their experience of living through Covid-19 for inclusion in a new archive entitled the ‘Covid-19 Lockdown Collection’.

The pandemic, and the unprecedented restrictions which have come with it, represent an historic moment in the life of the city. The creation of this archive will ensure that a true picture of how the people of Dublin fared during this time is preserved for future generations.

The type of materials sought includes:

  • Letters or emails from frontline staff, businesses, and the general public telling of their experiences, heart-warming stories, and frustrations;
  • Photographs showing the impact of the lockdown on work, life and locality;
  • Signs or artwork placed in windows, e.g. thanking frontline staff;
  • Accounts of a typical day under lockdown;
  • Accounts of the virus and hospital stays from those who have contracted Covid19;
  • Postcards with Covid-19 thoughts or worries;
  • Stories of the every-day heroes who are doing good deeds to ease the burdens of others;
  • Stories from non-Irish nationals about their experiences in Dublin during the lockdown;
  • Accounts from homeless people and those living in emergency accommodation;
  • Any other unique, contemporaneous records which tell the story of the Covid-19 pandemic in our city.

Mairéad Owens, City Librarian, says “Our city is a community of different experiences at this time. Older people and people with underlying health conditions are being encouraged to ‘cocoon’, and may be feeling lonely and isolated. People working in shops, garages, pharmacies, and other essential businesses are continuing to work, almost as normal, but at an increased personal risk. Doctors, nurses and care workers are doing their best in unprecedented circumstances. We want to capture ‘history in the making’ in our capital city and create an historic archive that will reflect all of their experiences.”

The Library is also interested in hearing from people who find themselves in extraordinary and often difficult circumstances:

  • Suddenly out of work, or working in different ways;
  • Juggling home-schooling their children and working from home;
  • Living in emergency accommodation or in accommodation that does not meet their needs at this time;
  • And of course those who have contracted the virus - their experience of being ill, and if applicable, of being in hospital.

Mairéad continues, “In gathering material relating to a broad cross section of Dublin society at this time, we will ensure that our archive is a rich tapestry and record of how our city and its people fared during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Those interested in contributing to the archive can do so via post or email:

Address: Dublin City Library and Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2, D02 HE37

Email: cityarchives@dublincity.ie

Photographs, day in the life accounts, or any other unique, contemporaneous records or items relevant to how Dublin city responded to Covid-19, are welcome.

Materials submitted will be reviewed, and records which are accessioned will be preserved and stored in the archive strong rooms. When material has been fully catalogued, it will be made available to the public for consultation in the Dublin City Library and Archive Reading Room, where doing so would be in-keeping with data protection regulations. A closure period of 100 years will be applied to any records containing personal data.

A short form is required to be completed and submitted with the materials. This form will allow Dubin City Library and Archive to record the provenance of the material, and to contact the person submitting it with any queries.

More information and the form can be found at http://www.dublincity.ie/story/life-dublin-under-covid-19.

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