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Grand Rapids Public Museum documenting the impact of COVID-19 on West Michigan

The public museum is asking for submission in order to archive community stories, videos and photos of the pandemic and its impace.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Public Museum is actively collecting digital submissions of community stories, videos and photos related to COVID-19 to ensure the local pandemic experience is documented for future generations. 

The COVID-19 pandemic will be recorded as a significant event in history and the GRPM encourages all community members to take a moment to reflect and share how COVID-19 has impacted you, your family and community.

“We want to do our part in making sure that we’re documenting history as it happens, especially since this pandemic has dramatically shifted life for the people of West Michigan and beyond,” said Alex Forist, the GRPM’s Chief Curator. “We hope to collect a variety of stories from community members so we can accurately portray what life was truly like during the pandemic, while also creating an archive for future generations to remember this time.”

Once it is safe to do so, the Museum will begin collecting objects related to the pandemic as well. From products and signage made by local businesses, to homeschool lesson plans and grocery lists, the Museum hopes to document everyday life during this time. Donors may indicate objects they are interested in giving to the Museum Collections in the online form at grpm.org/collections. 

To ensure all health care workers have the resources needed during this time, the Museum will not accept objects or medical items, such as N95 masks, until the crisis is over.

To submit a story, video or photos, visit grpm.org/collections and click “submit.” People of all ages are encouraged to submit. Children 17 and under may submit their experiences, but must have a parent or guardian sign off on the form. 

The Grand Rapids Public Library is also collecting stories related to the COVID-19 pandemic to create a shared community memory of this time. Consider sharing your story with both the GRPM and the GRPL. Stories submitted to the GRPL will become a part of the Library’s permanent archival collections and will give scholars, historians and medical researchers a record to study in the future. Learn more at https://www.grpl.org/covid-19-stories/.

To learn more about the GRPM’s Community Documentation Project, visit grpm.org/collections. Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #CommunityCollectingGR to help spread awareness.


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