Leotie Whitelaw Link Life By the Bullet: A Shopping List Collection

IMAGE: Shopping Lists From Around the World
IMAGE: Lists From Home
IMAGE: Exploratory Scan
IMAGE: Lists by GSA Students

These images document a small collection of shopping lists, with focus on their physical attributes, and what the contents say about their authors. 

Shopping lists can provide us a wealth of information, be it by their literal contents, or frequently overlooked nuances. However inconsequential, they tell stories of everyday life, whether detailing the groceries of a historic figure, weapons required by military forces during a World War, or even just detailing dinner on Christmas. From the items described, to their physical conditions, and notes scrawled into margins and in between lines – these inventories are, in their own right, journalistic evidence of the human condition. 

Now more than ever, amid a global pandemic that has revolutionized the shopping habits of the western world, a shopping list can be a thing of great historical and anthropological value. In a time where the stakes of shopping for food and household goods have (for many) never been so high, I would urge everyone to consider the humble shopping list that waits, in all its tattered and bullet-pointed glory, for excavation from the bottom of your bag. Now is the time to give yours its own place in history. 

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