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Highbury pupils contribute to coronavirus ‘digital time capsule’ that British Library will store for future generations

PUBLISHED: 16:23 13 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:43 14 July 2020

Charlotte McMillan with her sons. Picture: Children of Lockdown

Charlotte McMillan with her sons. Picture: Children of Lockdown

Children of Lockdown

Youngsters from St Joan of Arc Primary School are contributing to a “digital time capsule” which will be archived in the British Library, for future generations to learn what life was like during lockdown, through the eyes of children who lived through it.

Children between the ages of 3 and 17 are being asked to reflect on their experiences of lockdown for a digital time capsule. Picture: Children of LockdownChildren between the ages of 3 and 17 are being asked to reflect on their experiences of lockdown for a digital time capsule. Picture: Children of Lockdown

The idea for the project, ‘Children of Lockdown’, came from Charlotte McMillan, who asked her three sons to take part.

“They have witnessed a fundamental moment in history, when everything that was predictable about our lives was suspended,” said Charlotte.

“The ability to come and go as we please, to see friends and family, to go to school.

“I thought it was important for them to express their thoughts and reflections about lockdown, almost as a way of putting it into perspective - the negatives but also the positives - and to see what we can take on board for the future.

“My friends also got involved and I thought how great would this be if we could extend the idea to all children across the UK, for their reflections to be captured in one place.”

She launched it through her own online business, Storychest, which is a digital “scrapbook” app where families can upload special photos, videos and mementos like artwork.

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She approached the library in Euston Road with the idea of collaborating to create a digital time capsule.

The project is open to children aged between three and 17, who are invited to reflect on their experiences.

Their poems, stories and pictures will be shared on a dedicated website, which will be kept forever in the British Library’s UK web archive.

Children from St Joan of Arc in Northulme Road, Highbury Park, have been working on their submissions this week.

Headteacher Clare Campbell said: “It’s all part of bringing to a close what an unusual term we’ve had.

“We’re really thrilled to be contributing to this little piece of history.”

Ian Cooke, head of contemporary British publications at the British Library, said: “Children of Lockdown will be an important part of this collection, showing first-hand accounts of how lockdown impacted a generation, through a range of creative and written responses.”

Submissions are invited until July 26 via https://childrenoflockdown.storychest.com/


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