COVID-19 Collecting

Is your experience during COVID-19 represented?

Are your stories missing?

Can we help protect them for the future?


We are living through an unprecedented period in our history with the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Coronavirus has had an impact on how we work and interact with each other as well as how we live and die. Archives and the stories captured and preserved within them have a central role in recording these exceptional times.

Our mission at the AIU RACE Centre is to make BAME history, heritage and culture more visible. Historical accounts from BAME communities using their own words are not equally represented in the public record, and are at risk of loss. We therefore work to collect these stories, documents, records and materials.

What is COVID-19 Collecting?

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on BAME communities. To ensure this is captured for future researchers, educators and commentators and that our collective national history represents all our communities, we are launching a campaign to collect stories from Greater Manchester’s BAME communities. 

We won’t shy away from the difficult and uncomfortable stories the pandemic has exposed. We will collect records, stories and articles that demonstrate how racism – structural, institutional and interpersonal – still exists today but is being erased by our national story being largely told by the privileged few. We will take an intersectional approach, seeking to collect the stories of everyone within our BAME communities.

What can I donate?

We invite you to share your experiences, reflections and responses about the pandemic. We will collect records of all kinds, though recognise much will be born digital (i.e created in a digital format only). Please send us videos, photos, screenshots, newspaper articles, blogs, creative projects, journals and diaries – anything you think tells the story of you and your community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be mindful of including the thoughts and personal details of other people without their permission – always ask first.

How can I donate?

Please make a digital copy of whatever it is you would like to donate – this can be done by scanning documents or artwork, photographing objects, or recording sound or visuals. Please see our preferred file formats below (although we will accept others).

Donations can then be attached to an email with your full name, contact details (email address, phone number) and some contextual information – who created the item? Why, and why is it important to you? Where and when was it made or found? This is so that we can properly record your experience in our archive.

Please email submissions to [email protected]. You can also email us (or get in touch via social media @aiucentre) for more information about the process or if you have any questions.

Thank you in advance for your support and contributions. Stay safe!