Richmond Library Services are hoping to gather testimonies of residents living through the coronavirus for future generations.

The Library's Local Studies Library and Archive will coordinate the plan to document residents' experiences during the unprecedented global pandemic of Covid-19 coronavirus.

A statement from Richmond Council encouraged residents to take part and pointed out the historical significance of the current moment and how valuable their contributions would be:

"Many people will already be keeping diaries of their experiences during this time; if not, it is not too late to start. The Local Studies Library and Archive is inviting residents to share their recordings, which may include your daily routine, your struggles and your thoughts.

"We are living through a significant period of history and people’s diaries will allow those who come to study it to see how the pandemic really affected the people’s lives," a spokesperson said.

The archive will start accepting submissions after the pandemic subsides and the quarantine measures are ended.

The council statement added further details, including assurances that no diaries would be published until after their authors had passed away.

"Diaries are private...The diaries will be kept secure and closed to the public until all the people mentioned in the diaries have passed away.

"If diary-creators are happy for their diary to be made public earlier, the Local Studies Library and Archive will simply need signed statements from the creator and everyone mentioned within the diary."

Richmond Councillor John Coombs, Lead Member for Libraries and Culture, said that sharing people's experiences would help future generations transcend the statistics associated with such times.

Anything record, he said, would be helpful:

"This is a surreal situation to be in as we are currently living through a significant part of history. While statistics play an important part in recording history, diaries will allow future generations to understand the observations and feelings of people living through the crisis.

"Anything you record will be helpful, it doesn’t need to be written to a certain standard. You can view it as a creative project to be involved in that will be of genuine historic worth!

"Keeping a diary can also help to improve mental wellbeing – it gives the writer structure and a place to store thoughts and feelings."

Once the crisis is over and the Local Studies Library and Archive is open again, residents will be able to post, drop-off or email their diaries to the Library. Visit the Richmond Library website for more details.