Written and recorded material on how people have adjusted to life with COVID-19 is being collected by a team at the University of Hull.
Hull University Archives hopes gathering staff and student responses to the global pandemic will provide a valuable research bank for decades to come.
It could be anything from video content on how individuals and their families have responded to COVID-19, to reflections on working from home, how peoples’ daily routines have had to change, and the challenges of home-schooling.
Sarah Pymer, archivist at the University of Hull, said the project had been part-inspired by a student who had tried to access similar material relating to Spanish Flu.
The University had a bank of research-related material on the pandemic, which infected 500 million people between 1918 and 1920, but very little could be found on how local individuals and communities responded to Spanish Flu.
It is hoped gathering people’s experiences of COVID-19 – including living with social distancing and working from home – will provide researchers of the future with invaluable resources.
Ms Pymer said: “At the University, we also have a strong relationship with the archive team at RB.
“After some conversations with them, we realised we needed to think about how we can capture and collect material during COVID-19.
“This material could prove crucial for research projects of the future, and that is why we are now asking our whole University community to share their personal experiences with us. It could be written material in the form of a diary, or recorded content on working from home and living with social distancing.”
Material collected by the University team will form the COVID-19 Experience Archive.
It does not have to be recorded – it could be supplied in the form of diary submissions or other written content.
In years and decades to come, researchers across all disciplines will want to reflect on and learn from the unprecedented changes the University and its community has undergone in the space of a matter of weeks.
The team is interested to hear from everyone in the University community, from front-line workers to staff and students who are working and studying from home.
A dedicated Sharepoint page has been set up, where material can be uploaded.
The Archive Team at the University is also happy to be contacted by anyone who has a question about material they are considering sending in.
They can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.