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Accepted Paper:

Gathering pandemic pearls when the tide is high and when the tide is low  
Nicolas Le Bigre (Elphinstone Institute, University of Aberdeen)

Paper short abstract:

The Lockdown Lore Collection Project in Scotland has renewed itself throughout the pandemic’s ebbs and flows. Changes in government and public attitudes have affected submissions, the project, volunteers and the archivist. I’ll explore lessons learned, collaborative uses, and archival partnerships.

Paper long abstract:

Though we had ample warning, the coronavirus pandemic arrived like a powerful tide, disorientating and stranding many of us. Despite subsequent ebbs and flows, the crowdsourced Lockdown Lore Collection Project in Scotland has regularly renewed itself, collecting pandemic pearls throughout.

After a brief project overview, this paper will explore the ways in which the project and its crowdsourced nature have countered my initial expectations. This has most often been due to the nature of the project’s submission categories, and the contributors who have transgressed my ‘rules’, persuading me to expand, or at least reinterpret, these categories.

Following this, the paper will discuss the ways in which the materials have been crowdsourced – both through individuals and through collaborative community partnerships – as well as how these materials have and will be presented both publicly and in academic research contexts.

I will then touch on the project’s shifting geographic responsibilities, as more and more contributors ignored the last word in the tagline ‘documenting creative responses to the coronavirus pandemic in Scotland’, leaving open the possibility for transnational partnerships.

Finally, changes in government regulations and public responses to the pandemic have not only affected the project’s submissions and aims, but also the volunteer fieldworkers and the archivist dealing with the materials. As that archivist, I will consider what can be learned about managing large projects in crises contexts with very small teams.

Panel Arch04a
Working Group Archives: Now what? Documenting transnational crises I
  Session 1 Wednesday 23 June, 2021, -