The Lock-down Diaries project has been set up by Lambeth Council’s archives department to encourage people living in the borough to start keeping and then to send to the Archives, copies of diaries documenting their lives right now.
The Archives is interested in hearing from anyone in the borough, young and old. We are particularly interested in the experiences of people whose lives have been dramatically changed , or overwhelmed, by recent events: NHS staff in Kings or St Thomas’, public health workers in the council, or anyone whose working life has been transformed by the current lock down.
The last pandemic to strike Lambeth was the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918-20, when thousands died across London. Apart from some local press reporting and medical officers’ reports there is almost no documentation in the archives of what that pandemic meant for ordinary people’s lives in Lambeth. The Lock-down diaries project seeks to make our current experiences much better documented.
The diaries project launched on Twitter this week and has already attracted a large response with people offering to participate and starting to send in material. As one respondent put it, “This is such a great idea… crazy to think that we are living in a period that will be taught in history lessons.” We will accept contributions all the types of media that people are using, from handwritten diaries our collections that record the ongoing history of Lambeth and will also feature in a future exhibition.
- A deserted South Bank (right), photo Enzo Peccinotti
- Windrush Square, photo Enzo Peccinotti
- The virus in Lambeth, anonymous graffiti art at Stockwell Hall of Fame, Aytoun Road, photo Philip Norman
- A school child’s diary under lock-down, Anon