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The Reader calls for creative contributions capturing life through Covid

Written by Rachael Norris, 8th October 2020

The Reader is calling for communities to take part in an exciting new creative project that will capture the ways people have lived through the pandemic in 2020 and preserve their memories for years to come. 

The national charity, which uses literature to bring people together, is asking the public to share their thoughts and experiences of living through Covid-19 in a collective Commonplace Book. First used in the 17th Century, Commonplace Books are journals where people recorded anything important or worth remembering. Often, they included recipes, quotes, sermons, theories and speeches that were ordered and categorized, and used to inspire future self-reflection and ideas. Writers such as John Milton and Lewis Caroll used Commonplace Books to catalogue their ideas. 

Anna Farrell, Head of Calderstones Programmes at The Reader, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic and the summer of 2020 have been unlike anything in living memory, and will become part of our history and story when people look back in years to come. As the current custodians of the Mansion House in Calderstones Park, we have a part to play in helping to capture momentous occasions, to help people to reflect but also to preserve our stories for future generations.    

Our Calderstones commonplace book will be like a scrapbook, recording the ups, downs and everything in between. Everyone is welcome to contributeWe’re looking for comforting lockdown recipes, quotes from books and poems, letters and photographs, arts and craftand thought-provoking ideas. We hope one day to display it at the Mansion House for all to see so we can look back on it in the future to inspire us. 

To get involved, download the Commonplace Book pack from The Reader website or submit a request to receive one in the post. You can also pick a pack up in The Reader Shop open 12noon - 4pm, Thursday - Sunday.

When you’ve completed your page, you can bring it to the Mansion and drop it into the box in the entrance hall. Alternatively, you can post it to us at The Mansion House, Calderstones Park, Liverpool, L18 3JB.If you aren’t able to get the physical page to us, you’re also free to scan it in and send it to us at 

The deadline for submissions is Thursday 6 December, 9am.

This project is supported by Arts Council England, The National Heritage Lottery Fund, The National Lottery Community Fund, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Evan Cornish Foundation.

Download the Commonplace pack

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