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Portsmouth City Council’s museums and archives are putting a call out to residents to help them with collecting items of interest to help tell the stories of the city during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

Museums and archives have a vital role in recording social history and how communities react and work together in unprecedented times of crisis such as this.  Portsmouth’s services are appealing to people to share their stories so we have a record for future generations of what we did and how we coped.

There have been many touching moments; messages of hope and unexpected positive stories that have emerged from workers, families and communities in response to the epidemic and its impact on our lives.  From the weekly applause for NHS workers, children’s rainbow drawings in windows, comical memes and videos we’ve all been touched by the crisis in some way and shared pictures, stories and messages.

We’d like your suggestions of what we can collect to encapsulate the city’s response – diaries, photos, videos, pictures, leaflets and any other items.   Maybe you’ve kept a diary or lockdown log, composed a song or poem, devised some family entertainment, recorded videos or found a new skill – photography, drawing or sewing face masks – we want your accounts.

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

Museum and archive staff are working from home and closed buildings and aren’t open to the public so we’re unable to collect items yet – but you can get in touch if you have something to donate and we’ll arrange to collect it when it’s safe to do so.

For more information visit:

Cllr Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture and City Development at Portsmouth City Council said: “It’s important that we record our collective experiences of how we managed through the coronavirus crisis. Our museums and archives services has a vital role in showing future generations how we dealt with it, what we gained and how we use it in the future to honour those who died.”