Published: Wednesday, 29 April 2020

The Museum of Oxford has launched an online campaign to collect and record people’s experiences of the coronavirus pandemic in Oxford.

Members of the public, Oxford-based organisations and professionals will be invited to share photos, films, oral histories (voice recordings), diaries, blogs, poems, artwork, songs and other documents, such as NHS letters, to the museum’s City Stories website.

Capturing the community

The digital collection will record the effects of the lockdown and the virus itself on the people who live and work in Oxford city, and a database of the material will be compiled for future use. 

Items and stories submitted through the City Stories website will provide the newly developed Museum of Oxford the opportunity to display and create exhibits focused on this unique period.

Items that may seem mundane to us now, such as accounts of how our shopping habits have changed as a result of the pandemic, are highly valued by the museum to provide full and accurate historical records for future generations.

Social media outreach

A campaign to gather material for the digital collection will be launched on Oxford City Council’s and the museum’s social media accounts over the next couple of weeks to help add material to the collection on the museum’s website.   

City Stories, a Museum of Oxford online collection, which began one year ago and aims to tell the story of Oxford from a community perspective, already includes images of normally-busy streets in Oxford, a clapping for carers video and photos of the locality hubs.   

“We are living through a historically significant period and it is important that we capture as much of the impact that coronavirus is having on us as possible.  This way, we can leave future generations with a full and vivid picture of what life has been like for us during this difficult time.

“All contributions to the collection are valued and welcome.  Everyone in Oxford has a story worth hearing of their coronavirus pandemic experience, of how they felt, how they spent their time, and of how they stayed connected with family, friends and the wider community during the lockdown.”

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for City Centre and Culture

The campaign was launched following the UK lockdown, and will remain ongoing until the end of this period.  To share items to the online collection, please visit the Museum of Oxford.  Oxford Museum City Stories contribution page.

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