Family Archives in Lockdown

Thinking About Family Archives During Lockdown

Black and white photograph of a man and woman standing in a garden

My Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather.

As much of the world is living through lockdown due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the way we experience ‘Home’ is changing. Our domestic spaces, for many of us, have become a hybrid space where we work, play, socialise, exercise, create, communicate and do all the usual domestic chores of everyday life. Each of us, individually and as families, communities or work places, will be affected differently by the pandemic. Many of us will not be able to imagine what others are going through, and many people will be at a distance from their loved ones. It can feel hard to stay connected and keep dialogues going. However, the current situation has also allowed for new conversations to evolve and for new ideas, projects and connections to emerge.

Black and white Photograph of a seated woman

My Grandmother

Although my research project ‘ looking for the Matriarchive‘ is currently on hold, and the planned research events for April and May have been cancelled, I wanted to reach out and thank all the research participants who were due to attend the sessions. The plan was for us to share and discuss items from our family archives, with a focus on photographs and the narratives and memories that go with them. I hope to reschedule these events when it is possible and safe to do so.

Photograph of a pressed leaf

From my Grandmother’s flower press.

As I spend time isolating in my home, I have found myself thinking even more about family archives than usual! And, I finally have the time to go through my family collections and begin to document them. I am making use of the equipment I have at home, primarily a DSLR camera, good natural light (a very rare commodity in Brighton flats) and lots and lots of family photographs. I have decided to share the images I have been taking of my own family collections by posting them here on this blog. I would also like to encourage others, if you have the time during the lockdown, to spend it researching, organising and caring for your own domestic archives or family collections/photographs. It has definitely helped me to be reflective, and given me a focus outside of the anxious and uncertain times we are all experiencing.

Photograph of three pressed flowers

From my Grandmother’s flower press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please leave comments here on the blog (public), or contact me here (private) to let me know your thoughts. I am also working on some guidance for how to make a mini studio and photograph your own family collections at home. Thank you again to those who were due to attend one of the research events originally scheduled for April and May, I am so grateful to you all for the interest and emails already shared. Keep following the blog and I’ll be in touch to re-schedule the events when possible.


Black and white photograph of field and haystacksHandwriting on the back of photograph that reads November 1959Stay safe, keep positive and dig out those old photos!

With best wishes,

Rachel.

 

 

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