New archive to capture life under lockdown in Suffolk – and your stories are needed

The 'life in lockdown' archive project run by Suffolk Archives will be stored at The Hold in Ipswich

The 'life in lockdown' archive project run by Suffolk Archives will be stored at The Hold in Ipswich for future generations to learn from. Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s archive service has launched a project to capture life under coronavirus lockdown to be preserved for future generations.

County council cabinet member for heritage, Paul West, said it was important for Suffolk Archives to

County council cabinet member for heritage, Paul West, said it was important for Suffolk Archives to help document the coronavirus meoment in time as well as archive it. Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Rachel Edge

The ‘Life in Lockdown’ archive collection will preserve items which have recorded the experiences of people in Suffolk and be contained in the new facility being built in Ipswich, The Hold.

MORE: What you need to know on GP appointments and prescriptions during Covid-19 pandemicIt will include an online survey, screenshots of social media posts, photos, artwork, diary entries, and art.

Rebecca Harpur, volunteer engagement co-ordinator, said: “We want to hear from people from all walks of life and all ages from right across Suffolk.

“In years to come we will want to look back on this important period of history, and the responses we receive could become a valuable part of Suffolk Archives’ collection.

Christchurch Park, Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Christchurch Park, Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

“It is up to you how much information you want to contribute; it could be a few immediate impressions or a more in-depth representation of life today.”


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The archive is expected to include some of the difficulties people have faced, as well as the extraordinary efforts of those who have gone above and beyond for their community.

MORE: Follow the Suffolk Coronavirus Facebook page here for the latest updatesSuffolk County Council cabinet member for heritage, Paul West added: “Suffolk Archives’ role is not only to preserve and protect our archives, but also to record what is happening today so that future generations are able to look back on this time.

“It is important that we collect records that reflect how life in Suffolk is now, and document the changes and difficulties experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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Alongside the archive, a time capsule is being put together for young people to contribute to.

Called ‘The Art of Being 2 Metres Apart’, it will help children and teenagers express their feelings during the crisis through artwork, music or creative writing.

Mr West said: “It gives young people a place to express their emotions about the virus, how their lives have changed and adapted, and how they are managing hopes and fears.

“They will be helping to record Suffolk history from a different viewpoint and help people in the future understand what it was like. The selected entries will go into The Hold for future generations to see.”

To find out more about the projects, visit the Life in Lockdown page here and the Art of Being 2 Metres Apart project page here.

Stay up to date with all the latest coronavirus developments by signing up to our daily newsletter here or by bookmarking the EADT Coronavirus topic page.

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