The National Library of Scotland will document the Covid-19 pandemic for future generations

The National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh is creating an archive of publications that document and record the pandemic so that future generations will know what life was like during Covid-19.

The National Library of Scotland

Materials being collected by a curation team at the George IV Bridge institution include information leaflets and e-resources produced by community groups, campaigns and charities, local councils, health boards, government organisations and faith groups as well as first-hand accounts and reports of the pandemic’s impact on communities, trades and professional organisations.

The collection will also include websites, twitter feeds and Facebook pages. The Library has now archived over 4000 new Scottish Covid websites and Covid pages within existing sites, as well as film and manuscripts.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Graeme Hawley, the National Library of Scotland's Head of General Collections, said: "Ephemera such as flyers and leaflets, as well as websites and public-facing social media pages, provide rich insight into what it is actually like for people and communities living through times such as those we’re experiencing now.

"As the home of Scotland’s memory, it’s vital that we collect as broad a range of material as possible so future researchers can get an in-depth account of what it was like."

He added: "When I returned to the shelves after the end of the first lockdown I looked through the magazines and journals that had been coming in after reopening. In a pile of about 30 different titles, Covid was on the front cover or first page of every single one.

"Everything from Copper Worldwide to Ice Cream -- the magazine of the Ice Cream Alliance. There isn’t a single part of our lives that the pandemic hasn’t touched."

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.