Accessibility statement

The York Covid-19 Archive

Posted on 6 April 2020

These are unprecedented times - how are you making sense of them?

The City walls (Nunnery Lane)

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has changed the world. Families and friends are separated; schools and businesses have closed down; our lives have completely changed in just a few weeks. These are unprecedented times - how are you making sense of them? 

Here at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, we hold documents containing hundreds of years of York’s history. Now we want to create an archive of York’s experiences of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic by collecting your records. These could be journals or diaries; poetry or prose; photographs; even short films or sound. We can accept digital and physical records, and would like to hear from all members of our community: young and old; doctors; nurses; teachers; social workers; business owners, retail workers; school students; retirees; and everyone in-between.

York is in a unique position as the first city in the country to have confirmed coronavirus cases. We have all been living alongside this disease for several months. By collecting your records, we can create a lasting collective memory of York’s coronavirus outbreak which will be an important resource for researchers in the years and decades to come. 

Further guidance for this will be available soon, but for now please start to record your thoughts and feelings and events around you and in your community. If you have any questions, please contact us at