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Collecting COVID

Portsmouth’s museum and archive collections tell the story of the city and its people.

We want to make sure that our collections include our reactions and responses to the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

We want to include objects or documents that will tell the personal stories of our experiences for future generations.

The coronavirus outbreak is such a major event, everyone in the city has been affected – whether you’ve had the virus, are a key worker, working from home, home schooling, shielding finding ways to pass the time during lockdown.  These are the stories we want to collect.

Maybe you’re keeping a diary, or have taken up a new hobby, started a support group, put a rainbow in your window, or recorded your street’s clap for carers.

You can send us photographs, pictures, copies of documents, video and audio files by email:

Museum and archive staff are working from home and the city’s museums and history centre aren’t open to the public, so we’re unable to collect items yet. Get in touch via if you have something to donate and we’ll arrange to collect it when it’s safe to do so.

Here’s how you can help

Recording life in Portsmouth during the coronavirus epidemic

Portsmouth Museums and the Portsmouth History Centre need your help to record and show the city’s stories:

  • Tell us about your experiences during the pandemic, what objects or documents have been important to you during this time?
  • If you work in front line services – NHS, food delivery, emptying bins, caring, retail is there any special clothing or kit that would help tell your story or can you think of items we could collect?
  • Send us photographs or videos of life during the epidemic, such as social distancing in queues, screens at tills, empty streets, shops or other closed businesses, signs about closures, social distancing etc., messages chalked on pavements, children’s teddies and rainbow pictures in windows, home schooling, pictures of how you spent your time during lockdown.
  • Keep a diary – written, audio or video. Leaflets or other documents; accounts of how your business has been affected, works of art, memes or films you’ve made.

Send us photographs, pictures, copies of documents, video and audio files to:

When lockdown measures are relaxed we’ll also be able to accept physical objects and documents too.