COVID-19 presents the important challenge of recording the experiences of Australians across the span of the pandemic. The Diary Files, developed in partnership with ABC Radio Sydney, is a community driven platform, built by the State Library of NSW’s DX Lab to collect the stories, poems, lyrics, thoughts and reflections of the people of NSW and beyond.
Designed to preserve the everyday experiences of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diary Files are intended to be preserved permanently and be accessed by future researchers looking back on the emotional impacts from 2020. The platform was built for anyone to access, with people asked to capture their thoughts around the strict isolation to the gradual easing of social distancing rules to the return to school and to where we are today.
Contributing writers from across Australia connected with each other through common experiences and attitudes. The Files provided a safe place for students, poets and writers who wanted to share their story of isolation, concern, home-schooling, song lyrics and poetry. With over 1000 diverse entries, from across the state, the platform proved to be popular place for people to reach out, particularly young people. The Library built relationships with new audiences including in regional NSW and Western Sydney. The oldest writer was 102 and the youngest just 4 years old.
Find out how and why the State Library of NSW quickly built a community generated story-telling platform, during the peak lockdown period in NSW, to capture the emotional and poetic moments of life in and around NSW.
Presenters: Richard Neville, Mitchell Librarian and Director, Engagement SLNSW and Paula Bray, DX Lab Leader SLNSW.
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