Collecting experiences of the Coronavirus pandemic in Sheffield

© Museums Sheffield

While we’re all on lockdown we’ve been thinking about what objects represent our lives at the moment, and what should be collected to tell the story of what we’re currently going through to future generations. COVID-19 has seen our day-to-day life change massively – we all have a lot in common right now, but we’re also mindful that people people’s personal circumstances mean that a lot of us are having very different experiences.

We want to do our best to represent this unprecedented moment in our lives, but we need your help. What do you think should be kept as a memory of Sheffield and its people at this time? In particular, if you have a suggestion of something you’d be happy to donate to the city’s collections that represents your experience during lockdown we’d love to hear from you.

In terms of objects you might want to donate, these could be items to do with:

  • Community support information - notes and cards
  • Cheering yourself and/ or other people up
  • New activities / hobbies / exercise you’ve tried at home
  • Cooking something different
  • Home-schooling/ entertaining children
  • Child-minding
  • Going to school / teaching or other school duties
  • Social distancing
  • Working from home
  • Keeping your business going
  • Being a key-worker, e.g. NHS staff, shop staff, delivery driver etc.
  • Shielding or self-isolating
  • In memory of loved ones
  • Volunteering
  • Photographs that reflect your experiences 

We'd also very much like to hear your stories and memories of life during lockdown. What has it been like for you and the people close to you? What are your biggest hopes and fears? What are you missing the most? And during such a difficult time, what are those things that have brought you joy? 

If you'd like to let us know what you're hoping to donate, or tell us about your time during lockdown and what life has been like for you, please contact Clara Morgan, Curator of Social History, at

Our Friends at Sheffield Libraries and Archives are also running a fantastic project to document the experiences of people in Sheffield during lockdown - you can find out more about that and how you can get involved here.


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