We invited Portsmouth community members to participate in this project to express themselves, stave off boredom, and preserve history. As always, staff of the Special Collections Room were physically collecting printed accounts, articles, and documents for the history files.
To further our mission to document and make accessible Portsmouth history, we started this diary project to capture the social, economic and personal accounts of the impact this pandemic has had on our residents and community. These entries are now accessible on our digital exhibits site.
Quarantine journal guidelines
We are no longer accepting responses, but the following guidelines were used during this project:
- Decide how you will create your journal. Writing it down? Creating a document in MS Word or Google docs? Video? Audio? Photos only?
- In your first entry, remember to tell bit about yourself – anything you want people to know.
- Include whatever you would like from there. Talk about how your days have been spent – are you working from home? Are you a healthcare worker? Deemed an essential employee? How has life changed? What is your daily routine like? Include things that have made you happy, laugh, or cry. (Yes, future historians are going to be studying memes – help them do it!) Include craft projects, your Netflix list, quarantine walks, and generally whatever gets you through this moment. Share stories and kindnesses, fears, worries, dreams and thoughts for the future!
- Keep going until we are out on the other side!
- Donate! Use our diary form or donate it later.
To get an idea of what donating to an archive is like, refer to this guide from the Society of American Archivists.
The Vermont Folk Life Center’s Listening in Place .
The Great Plague 1665-1666: How did London respond to it? (PDF) from the National Archives in the UK is an educator’s guide to using diaries and personal documents from the Great Plague to help understand what it was like to live during that time. Your diary entry or journal will help do the same.
The Great Diary Project gives an excellent overview of why diaries and journals are so important for historians!