An open archive of Lothian Diaries
The Lothian Diary Project is made possible by a cross-School collaboration among data scientists, linguists, psychotherapists, public health researchers, and political scientists. We are analysing the 195 audio and video diaries residents from the Lothians have contributed between 1 May 2020 and 15 July 2021. On this page you can read about some of our findings and access our research papers. This is a work in progress, so do come back to check out our new work!
Claire Cowie, Lauren Hall-Lew, Zuzana Elliott, Anita Klingler, Nina Markl, and Stephen Joseph McNulty. 2022. Imagining the city in lockdown: Place in the COVID-19 self-recordings of the Lothian Diary Project. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence: Language & Computation. https://doi.org/10.3389/frai.2022.945643
In this paper, we took a closer look at how some of the Lothian diaries contributors talk about “place” in their retellings of their lockdown experience. We were interested in understanding how our sense of place shifted during the lockdown. Movement restrictions meant that many people spent their time differently. Some, both long-term and new residents, started exploring their local area. Others had to come up with new ways to fill their time as their usual activities were disrupted.
As the first lockdown was announced in Scotland in March 2020, we were interested in supporting our local communities while figuring out ways to document and understand the extraordinary situation we suddenly found ourselves in. Over the next 15 months we encouraged Lothian residents to contribute audio and video diaries about their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that the perspectives and voices who are hit hardest by the pandemic were included, we paid contributors and facilitated donations to local charities, specifically partnered with charities and held public engagement events. We were keen to capture people’s lived experiences in their own words – each contribution is unique.
You can read our peer-reviewed article where we discuss how we collected the Lothian Diaries and why they’re particularly useful for research on the different ways people use language published in the journal Linguistics Vanguard, here (Open Access)
Lauren Hall-Lew, Claire Cowie, Catherine Lai, Nina Markl, Stephen Joseph McNulty, Shan-Jan Sarah Liu, Clare Llewellyn, Beatrice Alex, Zuzana Elliott, and Anita Klingler. 2022. The Lothian Diary Project: Sociolinguistic Methods during the COVID-19 Lockdown. Linguistics Vanguard. https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2021-0053
A key aim of the Lothian Diary Project from its outset was to work to share our findings with those institutions and organisations involved in decision-making, policy and planning for future public health emergencies. In this way, we hope that insights from our research can make an impact upon future preparations.
We have recently completed two versions of a report to the Scottish Parliament – a longer Executive Summary, and a more condensed Parliamentary Briefing (POSTnote).
work by: Claire Cowie, Lauren Hall-Lew, Zuzana Elliott, Anita Klingler, Nina Markl and Stephen Joseph McNulty
We have also been particularly interested in how contributors talk about place in the Lothian Diaries. We presented some preliminary analysis at the Mass Observation seminar in October. You can watch the talk and discussion here (2:00-30:05).
We were particularly interested in participants who lived alone during the pandemic.
We have presented some of our findings about linguistic variation at NWAV49 – a conference about language variation. You can watch the video of the talk here.
work by: Lauren Hall-Lew, Jessica Göbel, Claire Cowie, Catherine Lai, Nina Markl, Stephen Joseph McNulty, and Zuzana Elliott
An open archive of Lothian Diaries
A subset of the Lothian Diaries dataset is available to access for other researchers.
You can read our short peer-reviewed description of the Lothian Diaries dataset published in the Journal of Open Humanities Data here (Open Access)