#NH Historical Society - Collecting A NH COVID-19 Archive

Public Service Ad Page 4, Farmington News, Friday, Oct 25th, 1918

From the NH Historical Society:
What did you do during the Pandemic of 2020? For many of us, confined to our homes and practicing strict social distancing, we might say that we weren't able to do much, but our experiences will still be of interest to future generations seeking a better understanding of these days, weeks, and months as the virus ran its course. Those who come after us will want to know what it was like in New Hampshire under stay-at-home orders, when so much of our lives was disrupted that even everyday tasks required a new level of awareness and preparation.

The New Hampshire Historical Society seeks to document these historic times, as it has preserved the heritage of generations of Granite Staters. Even as we live it, the Society will be gathering materials that reflect this episode in our history. This call to action asks the public to help us compile a New Hampshire COVID-19 archive that records these unique times. 

What types of material are we looking for, and how can you contribute? The Society is interested in objects and accounts that capture what life was like during the crisis, whether you are in self-quarantine or on the front lines. We seek to document a range of experiences.

Here are some suggestions: 

  • Do you keep a journal? Or have an interest in starting one? Whether your entries are routine or philosophical, hand-written or typed, they might be of consequence for what they tell of daily life, the spread of information, or your thoughts, hopes, and concerns.

  • Written accounts of all kinds can document how the experience of visiting the grocery store has changed or provide insight into your involvement as a health-care worker, government official, business owner, or essential worker. 

  • Photographs show the impact of the coronavirus on the world around us, from the signs people put in store windows or on their front lawns, to the hunt for toilet paper, celebrations of milestones, or walks down Main Street.

We are sure that there are many ways in which creative Granite Staters can document their experiences. The archive we compile today will inform the historians of tomorrow.

To submit material or ask questions, please contact Project Archivist Korrena Cowing, at kcowing@nhhistory.org. Digital submissions will be accepted now. If you have physical items you would like to donate, more details on donating them will follow when the New Hampshire Historical Society’s building has reopened.  

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