Covid 19: The Dorset experience – Update July 2020

It’s been over three months since the UK went into lockdown, and as we prepare for a further easing of guidelines on July 4th, we wanted to remind you that we are still collecting objects and images relating to Dorset’s experiences of the pandemic.

We’re aware that some items, including rainbow artwork and signs put up by businesses may be removed as lockdown ends. Please do not throw them away, but consider donating them to us.

We’ve received some lovely promises of objects over the past couple of months. They include handmade facemasks and PPE, and creative responses to the experience of lockdown including paintings, sculptures and textile pieces made by individuals and groups. We’ve received photographs showing typical Covid-era scenes across the county, and promises of council signs once they have been removed. We’ve also collected some items from Black Lives Matter socially-distanced demonstrations that occurred in various locations in the county in June.

As our experience of Covid-19 changes, so too will the objects we associate with it. We need your help in ensuring that we collect a representative picture of the ongoing experiences of Dorset’s people, and as the situation changes, ensure important items are not thrown away. We’re interested for example in objects that reflect:

  • The experiences of healthcare workers
  • The changing experiences of businesses, throughout lockdown and beyond
  • Overcrowding on Dorset’s beaches in recent weeks as the weather improved, and how this has affected local residents
  • The experience of learning during lockdown for Dorset’s children and young people
  • Items relating to community groups who supported local residents during lockdown and whose activities might now be winding down or changing
  • Local individuals who did extraordinary things during lockdown that you feel should be highlighted in the Museum’s collections.

But this list is not exhaustive! We are interested in objects that reflect all types of experience. Please refer back to our original call-out for an idea of our main collecting themes.

How to donate material

Please email us at to let us know a bit about the objects or photographs you would like to donate. We will get back to you as soon as we can to let you know if the material is suitable for the collection.

What will happen to the material collected?

If agreed by you, the material collected will become part of our local history and photography collections at the Museum. We are hoping to display at least one of the objects collected in our new People’s Dorset gallery, and are planning to develop a small temporary exhibition in our new Community Space to showcase some of the stories collected as part of this project.

For more information, please visit our Collecting Covid-19 page.

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