Pandemic Archive Box

“Making History” Pandemic Archive Box

It is 100 years since the last pandemic and the local aspects of the present pandemic merit recording by Beaminster Museum. Trustee Diana Trenchard has suggested that the Museum should record individual impressions of it, seal them and then ensure they are not opened for another 100 years.

Imagine what it would’ve been like if in the last couple of years we had been able to open an archive box that had been sealed for 100 years.  In it would have been a lot of articles written by people of the local area.  The articles would concern their personal experiences and feelings during the First World War.  These articles would not so much be a diary of events which can be read in many official records.  Rather they would be describing what it was like to be living in this area at the time.  

You will almost certainly have gathered what I am suggesting.  Can we not arrange an archive box for people to donate similar articles about living through the present times of the pandemic?  All articles should be sealed in envelopes so that no-one will look at them for 100 years.  People could remain anonymous if they are then more likely to be honest in their writing.  No-one will look at what is written for 100 years when the archive box is opened, perhaps at the centenary of the extension being built!

The Museum has decided to accept the idea and the trustees are now appealing for contributions through various magazines, publications and the schools.

Guidelines for Submission of Articles


Open to residents of Beaminster and the West Dorset parishes covered by Beaminster Museum –  Beaminster and the parishes of Broadwindsor, Burstock, Chedington, Corscombe, Halstock, Hooke, Mapperton, Mosterton, Netherbury, Seaborough, South Perrott, Stoke Abbott and Thorncombe.


Length: between 1 and 5 pages. Pages must be numbered.

Text: black printed, typed or handwritten on white paper. No colour, Text only (ie  no pictures or illustrations)

Author(s): The article should finish with the following information  to help with future researchers:-

            Name (optional)

            Address (optional)


            Male or female


            Abode – eg in a village, hamlet, farm, isolated cottage.


The articles should be left in the Museum post box at the museum, or posted to

Beaminster Museum, Whitcombe Road, Beaminster DT8 3NB

Please supply all articles in A4 format and deliver unfolded or maximum one fold in a C4 or C5 envelope and seal the envelope).  Send a  SAE if you want confirmation of delivery and put the both these envelopes inside a third envelope. The articles will not be read or edited before placing in the archive box for 100 years. The box will be kept in the museum.


Entries should be with the Museum before September 30th 2020.