Dublin city library is creating a new Covid-19 lockdown archive

Submissions could be photographs, letters and even homemade art about the public's experiences. Picture: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie
By Ciarán Sunderland

Dublin City Library wants to hear about the public's experiences under lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic for a new archive.

The library is asking for submissions of letters and emails, photographs showing the impact of the lockdown, homemade art, and even postcards with coronavirus thoughts or worries.

Stephanie Rousseau from Dublin City Library and Archives says a submission can really take the form of anything.

She says: "People can send us in photographs, they can send us in letters telling us how they are feeling. We've already had an offer of a diary which is brilliant.

"Daily accounts of what life is like for people now and how they are experiencing the pandemic and the lockdown."

Footfall in the capital has plummeted as disruption caused by the coronavirus to the economy and society continues.
Footfall in the capital has plummeted as disruption caused by the coronavirus to the economy and society continues.

Called the "Covid-19 Lockdown Collection," this new archive will collect the personal stories of people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The full breakdown of possible archival submissions include:

  • Stories of the every-day heroes who are doing good deeds to ease the burdens of others.
  • Accounts of the virus and hospital stays from those who have contracted Covid-19.
  • Photographs showing the impact of the lockdown on work, life and locality.
  • Signs or artwork placed in windows, e.g. thanking frontline staff.
  • Accounts from homeless people and those living in emergency accommodation
  • Any other unique, contemporaneous records which tell the story of Covid-19 in Dublin and Ireland

This historic moment for Dublin and Ireland is being experienced very differently by all sorts of groups in society depending on age and occupation.

Mairéad Owens, City Librarian, says "We want to capture ‘history in the making’ in our capital city and create a historic archive that will reflect all of their experiences.”

Dublin city library also wants to hear about experiences from people who are working from home, have lost their jobs, homeschooling their children, and from people living in emergency accommodation.

People who have contracted the virus are very important for the collection too. The library wants to hear about what being ill felt like and how people recovered from home or in the hospital.