We live in historic times. In less than two years, all our lives have changed. “Social distancing” – elbow bumping – clapping for our NHS – traffic lights at supermarkets… Just two years ago, who would have believed any of it?
And in 20, 30 or 50 years, who will remember any of it? How will they remember it?
They’ll remember it, because you, the people of Sandwell, will tell them – through your stories; the history of Sandwell’s Covid pandemic.
To make sure your stories are told – and remembered - Sandwell Archives, as custodians of history for the borough’s six towns, are launching Sandwell’s ‘Pandemic: The Peoples Story’ project.
We want any records that you have kept or created during the pandemic. These can be physical or digital: they could be journal or diary entries; blogs, letters, videocalls or emails to family or friends; poetry, prose, sound recordings, as well as photographs and short film clips.
We want material from you whatever your age or occupation, so we can reflect the full range of personal experiences from across Sandwell.
Councillor Danny Millard, cabinet member with responsibility for libraries and archives, said:
“Your stories are the story of Sandwell, so tell them to us. We want history to have the most complete picture of the pandemic in Sandwell – and you are a vital part of that. So look at your pictures, emails and letters and share your experiences with us.”
Council archivist Ian Gray said:
“We want to create a contemporary record of the experiences of the people of Sandwell during a seismic period in history and create a lasting collective memory of Sandwell during this period.
“The more material – of different kinds – that we have, the more complete a story we can tell and a more complete picture we’ll leave for posterity.
“Your stories are history, Sandwell’s history, and anything you can give us can be used as a primary resource for researchers over the years to come.”
The Archives Service accepts material digitally at Archives_Service@sandwell.gov.uk. If the file is large, it can be sent by wetransfer.com. And anyone who wants to bring material in person can email the team, and they will make arrangements for this to be done in a safe manner.