School of Social and Political Science

Two SPS researchers to collect video diaries from residents in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sub head

A new project, Recording Life during a Pandemic: The Lothian Diary Project, will investigate questions of public health, media and communication among residents of Edinburgh and the Lothians in relation to COVID-19.


Among the project researchers are Dr Sarah Liu, Lecturer in Gender and Politics and Dr Clare Llewellyn, Career Development Fellow, both from SPS.

The project received more than £8,500 from the University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in its COVID-19 call, as well as more than £9,300 in its KE and Impact call. The project is a collaboration across multiple schools of the University, led by the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science, including researchers with political science, linguistics, data science and psychotherapy expertise. 

Collecting video diaries 

The project will draw on individuals’ personal accounts of the pandemic, in the form of video diaries recorded during the UK stay-at-home order. 

The intimate, immediate and spontaneous nature of video diaries makes them a unique data resource for assessing drivers of individual experience, including: 

  • Acceptance, uptake, and adherence to public health measures 
  • Impacts on mental health 
  • Fears, anxieties, rumours and stigma 

Sharing the findings

The resulting online collection of personal video diaries will be extensive and represent time-sensitive data of individuals' raw experiences, and context-sensitive to aspects of identity, demographics, and background. The collection will be archived and shared through installations and interactive exhibits at Museums and Galleries Edinburgh locations. The project findings will also be shared with policy makers.  

Take part

Visit the new project website here, and submit your lockdown video diary.

Project researchers

The project will be led by Dr Lauren Hall-Lew from the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, with co-investigators Dr Sarah Liu and Dr Clare Llewellyn, both of the School of Social and Political Science; Dr Catherine Lai and Dr Claire Cowie from the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences; Dr Nini Fang from the School of Health in Social Sciences; and Dr Beatrice Alex from the School of Literature, Languages and Culture and the School of Informatics.