Audio diaries at Uni Of Herts capture coronavirus lockdown history in the making

Volunteers have also submitted photographs they have taken that highlight aspects of live lived in t

Volunteers have also submitted photographs they have taken that highlight aspects of live lived in the shadow of Covid-19. Picture: UoH - Credit: Archant

A team at the University of Hertfordshire is working on a project to capture history in the making.

The Oral History Team, comprised of staff, students and community members at the Hatfield-based university, recognised that changes brought to peoples’ lives as a result of the pandemic would be historically significant and began their recordings on March 20, just before the government announced lockdown.

Dr Eureka Henrich, Oral History Project team coordinator and lecturer in History at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “There was a feeling among the group that we needed to capture this moment of history as it happened and it has been fascinating to uncover differing attitudes as the team adapt to unique and changing circumstances.

“Oral accounts have the advantage of producing unfiltered, more expressive accounts that lend themselves to historical storytelling and will allow people looking back at this period a glimpse into how people felt at the time.”

Anne Murphy, Dean of the School of Humanities, said: “This is an act of preservation of real historical significance. We will all want to look back on this period to understand how people felt and how they thought during this challenging time.

“I’m fascinated to see what comes out of the project as it evolves and how it will be used by future historians of the period.”

Senior research fellow Andrew Green also leads the team of 12, which includes volunteers from around the country.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter