Here at Archives+, we work to capture the history of our city from as many communities as possible, so we can tell Manchester’s story in as many voices as possible. We are all living through history right now.  Coronavirus has affected everyone in our communities. We all have a story to tell about our experience in lockdown and beyond, and we want you to help us build an archive of memories, pictures, photographs, sound and video from this time for future generations.  All the Archives+ partners – Manchester Archives and Local Studies, the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and North West Film Archive – are collecting and there is more information about how to take part in this blog.

Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre

The Team at AIU RRRC work to make Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) history, heritage and culture more visible and to ensure that the authentic voice of the community is properly documented. The Covid pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on BAME communities and it is essential that a historical account of this, created by the community itself, forms part of the public record. To address this, they have launched a campaign which aims to ensure this experience is properly documented and recorded. The campaign covers the whole of Greater Manchester. You can find out more from their blog at https://www.racearchive.org.uk/covid-19-collecting/ and using the hashtag #AllStoriesAreImportant

Manchester Archives and Local Studies and Unlocking Our Sound Heritage

Manchester has had its fair share of historical events, but one of the things which is often missing from the history books are the words of the people who lived through history themselves. The story of everyday life lived through extraordinary times will be important in the future and will give a personal insight into life in the city.

Some people may have already written down their feelings, or expressed them through creating artwork – but if you are keen to capture your feelings about the times we’re living through and are not sure where to start, the following prompts might help:

If you have had the virus, how did it affect you?
How has the virus impacted on your work?
How has the virus impacted on your home life?
What are you doing to keep busy?
Have you got to know your neighbours better?
How has the virus affected your view of the future?

There is no right or wrong way to do this as everyone’s experience is different and unique.   

Please make sure that anything you submit is your own work.  If you want to submit a photograph, please include details of when and where it was taken and why you took it.  

If you would prefer your submission to be used anonymously in any future exhibition, please let the team know – but do include your name, location and contact details so that they can contact you for further information if needed.  

If you wish to to submit a sound recording, you can use a sound recording function on your phone or tablet to create a simple MP3 recording. There’s lots more information and inspiration here: https://northwestsoundheritage.org/2020/05/12/lockdown-sounds/

Submissions of sound recordings, documents or photographs can be made by emailing info@archivesplus.org.  If your document or photograph is too large to send by email, please contact us using this email address to arrange another way to submit it.

If your submission is on paper or in another physical form, please keep it safely at home until your local Manchester library reopens, when you will be able to submit it in person.

North West Film Archive

The North West Archive is asking for YOUR help – we want to create as wide-ranging a picture as possible of what life was really like in the North West of England during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, so we’re looking for your perspectives on these unprecedented and worrying times. So, whoever and wherever you are in the North West, if you have any video showing life at home or at work – the empty streets, the experiences of key workers, the Zoom parties, the weekly applause for the NHS on your street, etc, etc – we’d love to hear from you.

If you wish to submit a video file, contact the North West Film Archive, which is based at Archives+, via https://www.nwfa.mmu.ac.uk/lockdown.htm