Create a Community Time Capsule
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Create a Community Time Capsule

A time capsule is a wonderful way to capture a snapshot of your community as it is, and a lovely project to work on with your neighbours. A time capsule is a sealed box, full of items that paint a picture of a place, a community or an event at one particular moment in time. Reopening a time capsule years later is an insightful way to look back on the past with items that are meaningful to that time. 

What You Need

Any number of items from the list below.

A container that can be sealed properly.

Make It Happen!

Read: How To Approach Your Neighbours

Read: Getting Cocooners Involved

We’ve put together some tips to help you make this happen in your neighbourhood, read them all here!

What To Do


Approach the community 

Putting together a time capsule of your area calls for one key thing- community! Get your neighbours involved with the project and ask them to contribute items that are meaningful to them and that create a picture of the here and now.

Time capsules don’t have to be overly complicated. Have fun with it and get creative about what you include! Here are a few examples: 

  • An introductory letter, explaining the time capsule and who has contributed. 
  • High quality photographs of your area and community. 
  • Handwritten letters and personal messages and drawings. 
  • Documents containing information about your area and it’s history.
  • Recent newspaper clippings.
  • Wrappers from people’s favourite food or from local bakeries and restaurants (although including the actual food might end badly, so be sure to clean all wrappers and packaging before putting them in your capsule). 
  • Favourite recipes. 
  • A sample of your town’s export. 
  • Drawings from children of the community as they see it, and letters to their future selves. 
  • The local school or GAA crest. 
  • COVID-19 Time Capsule booklets filled out by neighbours. Check out this brilliant one from here


Seal and store the time capsule

Once you’ve gathered all the items together for your time capsule, it’s time to seal it up! 

Conventionally, time capsules are buried in public spaces and revisited after a number of years. Getting permission to bury your time capsule can be a bit complicated, so try storing it in your house, local school or library. Ideally, somewhere dry where the temperature stays stable.


Reopening your capsule 

The most exciting part of a time capsule is the reopening! The National Archives of Ireland suggest lodging information in your local library or archive about the location of your capsule and when it is to be opened again. 

There’s no need to leave your capsule sealed for decades upon decades. Opening it up in 5 or 10 years will still provide an interesting insight into your community as it is now. Places can change and evolve so quickly; taking some time to look back on what we were feeling and how an area looked at a particular moment in time is invaluable. 

Covid Safety Tips

  • Maintain social distancing of 2 metres
  • Wear a mask
  • Make this an outdoor event

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