Help Glasgow City Archives document Coronavirus

Help Glasgow City Archives document Coronavirus

On the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, we put out a call for the people of Glasgow to keep a diary of their experiences, which we would preserve in the City Archives. We are now able to accept these and are asking those who took part to submit their entries.

During the past two years we heard from many people who were working on all sorts of accounts: hand-written diaries, photographic logs, illustrations and even video journals. Although the pandemic has lasted much longer than we anticipated, we hope that those of you who got involved would still like to submit your entries in whatever form they take.

How do I submit?

First, please complete the Documenting COVID-19 Submission form. Please read the 'Important Information' section carefully and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Electronic files: send this form and your submission to, with the subject line “COVID diaries”.

Physical/hard copy materials: you can either hand these into the archives searchroom in The Mitchell Library (see Glasgow City Archives website for latest opening hours) or send by post to: Glasgow City Archives, The Mitchell Library, North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN, marked for the attention of Michael Gallagher, Archivist. The submission form can be printed and submitted alongside your entry or sent to the above email address in advance.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions:

The above call out was added on 17 February 2022


The background of Help Glasgow City Archives document Coronavirus

Please note the below information is from 5th June 2020 and is for information purposes only

Glasgow City Archives would like to encourage you, the people of Glasgow, to record your experiences of coronavirus (COVID-19), which they will keep forever in the City Archives so that future generations can understand what we are living through.

What you can do

Keep a daily diary. It can be as simple or as detailed as you like. What are you doing, feeling, seeing, even eating? How is the situation affecting you, your friends and family?

No detail is too big or small. What is the weather like? How are you spending each day? What is in the shops? What do you miss? What is the impact on your work, education, hobbies?

Anyone can take part - from all walks of life and all ages, including children. Don’t worry about creating a wonderful piece of literature – they don’t want that! The important thing is that Glasgow City Arvhices document the experiences of ordinary people living through an extraordinary time.

Your diary can be in electronic format (for example, a Word document) or hand-written. You can make it anonymous or very personal. It’s really up to you!

Take inspiration from the diaries of Thomas Cairns Livingstone! Livingstone, a merchant shipping clerk, wrote his diaries between 1913 and 1933. In them, he noted everyday events like doing the household chores, the Glasgow weather and what music he listened to, against the backdrop of an uncertain period of history. They were later published as the much-loved books Tommy’s War and Tommy’s Peace.

An example handwritten letter documenting life from May 1918
An example handwritten letter documenting life from October 1916

What Glasgow City Archives will do

When the time is right, we will post instructions on how to send your diaries to us. Once we receive them, we will make sure that they are preserved forever as part of the City Archives collections.

We will treat everything you send us with care and sensitivity. This may mean not allowing people to read them until after a long period of time has passed. ​

Find out more about Glasgow City Archives.