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Recording And Collecting The Present For Future Generations

Published on: 15 Jun, 2020
Updated on: 19 Jun, 2020

Historians aren’t only interested in collecting artefacts, stories, details and so on about past events, but know the importance of recording what’s happening now, especially for future generations.

Signs supporting NHS workers have appeared in many places.

The coronavirus pandemic with its lockdown, grim statistics of those affected and lives lost, and a change of daily life that has had an enormous effect on everyone will surely be talked about for years to come.

Stories, pictures, statistics, etc, are there to be collected and collated and historians have been doing just that.

Locally, The Guildford Dragon NEWS’ own reporting will hopefully be a source to be tapped into, along with other local media coverage.

The honorary remembrancer for the Borough of Guildford, Matthew Alexander, has been following local coronavirus news stories along with the work of the borough council, noting and filing them appropriately for a permanent record – a good deal of the stories being from this news website!

Queues when shopping for food have become commonplace.

Now, Guildford Museum is appealing for people to share their stories, photos and film clips, as well as objects, saying they are: “….to reflect the voices and experiences of each of Guildford’s communities. As we move further into recovery we also aim to interview key workers including doctors, nurses, care home staff, and supermarket staff, as well as those who have experienced the virus as a patient or who cared for a relative”.

Museum staff are particularly looking for stories, photos and videos linked to home-schooling, working from home, keeping fit, socialising online, the view from your window during lockdown and new skills and crafts learnt during lockdown.

They are also interested in “how business and the workplace has adapted and how communities have come together to support each other, for example groups that have made PPE for the NHS”.

People going for their daily walk in the countryside have often witnessed nature at its best. Picture by Malcolm Fincham.

Guildford Museum reports that it has already received “some amazing digital items for the collection from residents but there is still so much to collect”.

If you are interested in passing on any of the above to Guildford Museum, contact collections manager Sarah Fairhurst on HeritageServices@guildford.gov.uk

Guildford Cathedral lit up in red, white and blue to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Picture by Ray Slack.

The neighbouring borough of Woking has been doing the same, and may be further ahead with its project.

With help from the independent newspaper, the Woking News & Mail, it already has, and continues, to collect its residents’ and communities’ stories and images, and is planning to publish a selection of them in a book.

The new development at Woking continues to take shape.

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