COVID-19 Lockdown Donations

Welwyn Hatfield Museum Service is looking for donations of objects and stories of our community's experience of lockdown.

We are living through extraordinary times: national lockdown, restricted movement and being apart from our loved ones. But these are also times of learning to use technology in new ways and initiating rituals like clapping for our key workers. There are many comparisons that can be made with the Second World War from rationing to communities volunteering their help to support each other. At Welwyn Hatfield Museum Service we want to ensure that this important phase in the community's history is captured for future generations; to learn from our experiences, just as we are able to learn from objects in our collection about life during the Second World War.

Part of our mission is to reflect the lives of everyone living or working in the district, regardless of their background, and record the experiences of work, leisure, home and personal life of our local community - that's you. We aim to research and collect objects and stories which reveal social and personal interactions with COVID-19. In turn, these will tell its wider and often unexpected impact on our lives, society and culture within the borough.

If you live or work in Welwyn Hatfield borough and think you can help, we'd love to hear from you.

Here are some examples of the things we are looking to collect:

  • Objects that represent how your home and/or work life has changed, or not, during lockdown.

This could be rainbow drawings, diaries, school schedules, letters from neighbours, friends and relatives, photographs of how your local area has changed, or equipment you've been using to keep safe (so long as you no longer need it).

  • Documents and objects reflecting the local authority's response to the crisis such as public advice, guidance and information leaflets or objects and photographs relating to food parcels or other support you've received if shielding.
  • Mill Green Museum started milling flour again to sell to the local community to help meet a shortage of flour in supermarkets. If you've used our flour during lockdown we'd love to hear from you. Maybe you're a first-time baker, maybe you've been teaching children  or grandchildren, or tried one of our recipes. Share your experience and photographs of your bakes with us!
  • Art produced in response to lockdown.

What else would you suggest? What objects have been important to you during lockdown? The more it relates to Welwyn Hatfield, the better.

 

Email us with information about your potential donation at: museum@welhat.gov.uk

 

Tell us what it is, what it means to you, and include a photo if you can. Anyone who offers a donation to the museum service and lives or works in the borough will be asked if they would like to contribute to our oral history collection with a short interview about their experience during the COVID-19 crisis.

Oral history interviews will not be carried out until a future date when it is safe to do so. Physical collecting will only take place during the pandemic if it is essential and time-critical. The majority of items will be added to the collection once it is safe to do so. Please note that we do not guarantee to accept all offers of donations.

Additional Information

We intend that:

  • We will make no communication or ask for any action that will take medical practitioners, NHS workers or those involved in response efforts away from their important duties.
  • We will take no action that might involve an increase in human contact at times of recommended isolation or lockdown, such as deliveries or other movement of material or people. 
  • We will be respectful and sensitive to the fact that lives and livelihoods are at risk, both in the collecting and future display of this material.
  • We will ensure that our collecting is considered and properly documented to ensure maximum usefulness for future research and display. 
  • We will ensure that all collecting follows both Welwyn Hatfield's Collections Development Policy and the Museums Association Covid-19 Ethical Guidelines, confirming that our collecting is not duplicating the work of others donation.
  • Any donations will be regularly reviewed in line with our Collections Development Policy for their relevance, condition and duplication as part of our collections procedure and responsibility to ensure we care for all our collections to the best of our ability.
  • We will ensure that our own staff are supported in collecting and displaying this material.