Children between the ages of 3 and 17 are being asked to reflect on their experiences of lockdown for a digital time capsule to be displayed on a dedicated Children of Lockdown website that will be kept forever as part of the British Library’s UK Web Archive.
Charlotte McMillan, founder of Storychest, is asking schools and parents to encourage children to join in by sharing their lockdown reflections so that children of the future will be able to see through the eyes of the children of today what life was like during lockdown.
“It started as a personal project that I asked my three boys to do; they have witnessed a fundamental moment in history, when everything that was predictable about our lives was suspended – the ability to come and go as we please, to see friends and family, to go to school. I thought it was important for them to express their thoughts and reflections about lockdown, almost as a way of putting it into perspective – the negatives but also the positives – and to see what we can take on board for the future. My friends also got involved and I thought how great would this be if we could extend the idea to all children across the UK, for their reflections to be captured in one place.”
“I’d heard about the British Library Web Archive, so I approached them with my idea of creating a digital time capsule”, said Charlotte.
Ian Cooke, Lead Curator for the British Library Web Archives, said: “The British LIbrary will be including “Children of Lockdown” in its collection on COvid19, as part of the UK Web Archive. This collection covers medical, healthcare, policy and social impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic. As part of this, we are preserving a record of personal responses and accounts of life during Coronavirus, through communications made public online and preserved in the UK Web Archive. “Children of Lockdown” will be an important part of this collection, showing first-hand accounts of how lockdown impacted a generation, through a range of creative and written responses.”
Charlotte adds: “This could be a fun and meaningful project that teachers could use to mark the end of a strange school term, or parents could do with their children during the holidays as we are cautiously moving into the next stage of normality.”
Poems, stories or pictures can be submitted for the Children of Lockdown Digital Time Capsule up until the 26th July. In addition to the children’s work being stored in the digital time capsule; there is also a competition to find the most creative response in each age category that will be judged by children’s authors: Nicola J Rowley, Janey Jones and Rhys Brisenden. Winners in each age category will receive National Book Tokens.
Nicola J Rowley, award-winning author of Mug the Wumph the Dancing Wizard, said: “This competition is a great opportunity for the children of today to record how they experienced lockdown, in order to help the children of tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to reading all of the entries that will be sent in for this landmark historical project.”
To enter Children of Lockdown, you have until 7pm on 26th July to upload your entry.
All entries will be displayed on a website and the British Library will be saving them in an archive, so don’t include personal information that could identify you easily. Winners will be announced on 17th August on Storychest’s Facebook page and website.