News

Worcestershire’s Pandemic Experience in Objects & Stories – A County Remembers

  • 19th May 2020
  • County organisations join together on major new People’s Collection
  • Residents asked to donate objects, photos and documents from their Coronavirus experience to the collections of Museums Worcestershire and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
  • Collections will record personal experiences in extraordinary times

Whilst the residents of Worcestershire are living through the Covid-19 pandemic, Museums Worcestershire and ourselves want to collect their objects, images, stories, documents and ephemera that record the experiences, and tell the stories, of this extraordinary episode in our county’s history.

Rainbow pictures in Ronkswood Co-op window, Worcester

Our county has faced times like this before; museum and archives collections include objects and archive material from the time of the Spanish Flu pandemic a century ago. It is equally important to add Worcestershire’s Covid-19 experiences to the record.

Museums Worcestershire and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service want to collect the objects and documents that reflect the individual experiences of residents of Worcestershire and their response to the pandemic and lockdown. This might include homemade face masks made on sewing machines for NHS or care workers, Or objects that represent our community’s experience and response to the pandemic and lockdown, such as pots and wooden spoons used to bang during claps for carers, placards and pictures of rainbows made to support NHS workers or objects relating to parish projects looking after vulnerable people.

There might also be archives such as diaries or reminiscences, images or unique teaching resources used by parents’ home schooling for the first time. Not forgetting the records created by the county’s businesses and industries that reflect their particular lockdown situation.

Instructions outside a chemist shop

Worcestershire Archives Manager Adrian Gregson says

“Life is completely different for all of us. How we live, work, shop and interact is radically different and we want to ensure this is reflected in the museum and archive collections. We are all living through extraordinary times, and it is important that we capture this so that in 50 or 100 years time residents can make sense of, and learn from what we have been going through.”

Museums Worcestershire’s Senior Curator, Deborah Fox, says

“Museum and archive collections are filled with important objects such as Shakespeare’s marriage bond, or the relics of past industries, but it is the less obvious, personal objects which reveal the most about our ancestors and help us understand our place in the world today. However unimportant you think your object, photo or archive might be, it is a reflection of the extraordinary time we are all living through, so please consider donating it to our collections.”

Residents are asked to contact Museums Worcestershire and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service by email with details of the objects, artworks and ephemera, stories or documents and images that they are willing to donate. If you have an object to donate please email gallerymuseum@museumsworcestershire.org.uk.

If you have photos, stories, paper records or photographs to donate please email explorethepast@worcestershire.gov.uk.

The collecting project will run throughout the pandemic. Once museums and libraries re-open to the public, the objects will be collected in by Museums Worcestershire and Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service.

Playground at Worcester Woods closed


The Commandery, Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, Hartlebury Castle and The Hive are all closed to the public due to Covid-19. For more information please see the Museum’s Coronavirus Information Page and www.explorethepast.co.uk.

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