Jersey Archive adds pandemic experiences to the history books

Credit: Jersey Heritage

A collection of reports documenting what life was like for islanders during the Covid-19 pandemic has been added to the Jersey Archive.

When the Airport Testing Centre closed in January 2023, staff from Jersey Archive visited to talk to those involved in the programme.

14 interviews were carried out with front-line testing staff and those responsible for creating the policies islanders followed during the pandemic.

Photographs were taken and other items of potential historical importance were collected including paper risk assessments, thank you cards and staff induction sheets.

Over the course of the year, a further 16 interviews were conducted with members of the public.

Their experience of the pandemic has now been added to the archive for future generations to view and reflect on.

 

Teams working on Jersey Archive's Conservation Project Credit: Jersey Heritage

This was just one project Jersey Heritage undertook last year, as documented in its annual report.

A large-scale conservation project was also carried out, with the aim of bringing unusable documents back into public access and to ensure they are preserved for the long-term.

Teams spent a significant amount of time cleaning and repackaging records.

44.6 cubic metres of material was transferred into the archive, including hospital registers from the early 20th century and school admissions registers from the Occupation period.

Jersey Archive

The 2023 annual report revealed it was a full year for the team and volunteers, with nearly 3000 boxes of documents being transferred into the records.

An additional 2,800 digital files were also added, and a large-scale audit revealed the need for a further 10,000 items to be digitised.

Volunteers worked for 2,800 hours last year.

2,400 people visited the Archive to do research, and there were 2,700 phone or email enquiries.

The report also noted an improvement in communication and the flow of information between the government and themselves about the official records which departments are legally required to transfer.

Linda Romeril, Jersey Heritage's Director of Archives and Collections, said:

"In 2023, we saw a significant improvement in the review of retention schedules moving from 57% of schedules being up to date at the end of 2022 to 82% by the first few months of 2024.”

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