Thursday, May 07, 2020

The Corona virus as history

I received a cheery notice from my local historical society the other day. Its meetings and speakers' series are in abeyance for the duration, but it remains in operation, encouraging members:
to create short recordings of their experiences during the pandemic. This can include anything from a description of day-to-day life, family events, or how you have changed your daily routine to help flatten the curve. We're happy to accept videos and/or audio recorded on your smartphone or computer, letters and emails, or to conduct interviews over the telephone. The point is to be low-effort and brief—but to create a living record of this time.
This is becoming a thing. The survey we took here in mid-March may be this blog's only contribution to pandemic documentation, but I heard a couple of novelists talking recently of the pandemic diaries they are keeping.

And Historica Canada, the historical NGO (it has this new Heritage Minute: the liberation of the Netherlands) reports being one of several institutions developing programs to collect pandemic documentation. Historica Canada's is called "Canada During Covid-19 - A Living Archive" (though I found no details on its website yet):
It will collect a variety of materials from the pandemic — including videos, GIFs, writings and artwork — in an effort to chronicle a wide range of experiences, the organization said. People will also be invited to contribute on social media.

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