The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) has launched a COVID-19 digital archive, which documents the experiences of healthcare workers living and working through the pandemic.

This ongoing archiving project includes a range of insightful materials such as diaries, photographs, and interviews - providing an important record of the professional and personal impact of the pandemic on healthcare workers.

The archive is not only useful for historical research, but it will help us to learn, and to recover from the pandemic. It contains stories from doctors treating COVID-19 patients on the front line, which highlight the myriad of challenges they face at this difficult time. The exhaustion, the frustrations, the determination and the hope all come through as healthcare workers document their experiences of dealing with COVID-19.

A range of short and long interviews, along with other archive materials, can be found on the College’s website. The topics include treating COVID-19 patients, accessing personal protective equipment (PPE), the health and wellbeing of healthcare workers, changing work routines, treating non-covid patients, the public response to the pandemic through the eyes of doctors, and the views of doctors on lockdown.

Commenting, archive curator Daisy Cunynghame said:

This has been a really enlightening project to take part in. However much we all think we know from the newspapers, TV and the internet about what is going on behind the scenes during this pandemic there is still so much that we don’t know about. These interviews uncover the experiences of doctors facing PPE shortages and challenges finding food when working long hours while others are panic buying.

But, overall, what really came across to me was how much doctors were really impressed by the public’s response to COVID-19, and how much they appreciated gestures such as the Clap for the NHS. In amongst the stress and the challenges there’s hope, and optimism!


1. The COVID-19 archive can be accessed here.