Help Heritage Doncaster to tell the story of the lockdown

What will people in the future looking back in time think about life during the coronavirus outbreak?

Sunday, 19th April 2020, 12:00 pm

As the nation experiences an unprecedented moment in history, a group of Doncaster-based curators are calling for local people to write tomorrow’s history books by recording their experiences.

The new campaign has been created by Heritage Doncaster as part of its pioneering History, Health and Happiness programme, supported by Arts Council England (ACE).

Budding historians can share photographs, start a diary or blog, share audio clips or try scrapbooking, artwork and even knitting.

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However the story is told, each chapter will be brought together to form an invaluable chronicle of how the community faced the coronavirus crisis.

Heritage Doncaster will post stories in a virtual online exhibition, and they may even be used to curate future displays in the new DANUM Gallery, Library and Museum on Waterdale when it opens later in the year.

“History belongs to everyone, so why not help write it?” says Victoria Ryves, programme manager for the History, Health and Happiness programme.

“Whether you’re on the front line helping others, or finding ways to cope at home, your experiences will be invaluable to the history books, as they’ll show people in the future how our lives were changed by Covid-19, how we struggled and adapted, how we felt and how we celebrated when it was all over.

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“It’s a difficult time for many people but it’s worth remembering that history so often reveals the resilience, kindness and spirit of ordinary people just like us, living through extraordinary times!”

As well as sharing their stories digitally, people are also being encouraged to hang on to any objects that help illustrate their experiences, which could be added to Doncaster’s museum collections when it’s safe to do so.

These could include examples of home-schooling homework, artworks, notes from neighbours or official Government notices.

Victoria said: “If history shows us anything, it’s that times like these bring communities together.

A heartfelt message featuring a rainbow, the symbol of lockdown for children

“People have never felt isolation and loneliness so acutely as right now, and while it’s important to be recording history as it happens, our real goal is to give people a shared sense of heritage - a chance to connect and engage with each other that’s so precious in these times, and so critical to our health and well-being.”

To get involved, share your experiences via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @DoncasterMuseum or Facebook, remembering to include a name and contact details.

Find out more and see other people’s stories at www.heritagedoncaster.org.uk/collectingcovid19

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