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Michigan launches history collecting initiative for COVID-19 experiences

The initiative gives residents the opportunity to share stories that reflect their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, for the benefit of future generations.

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan History Center today announced a new collecting initiative for residents to share their experiences about COVID-19, for the benefit of future generations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic becoming a critical moment in history, The Michigan History Center is documenting this time through objects, archival materials, stories and experiences.

The center wants to know how the coronavirus is affecting Michigan residents in the workplace, at home, in communities and in many other settings. 

RELATED: Grand Rapids Public Library asking for COVID-19 story submissions

The first phase of the three-phase collecting initiative is active right now. It offers a web-based platform for people to share and donate photos, videos and audio files that document their daily lives during this emergency – all of which will be considered for preservation in the Archives of Michigan’s collections. 

The following questions can provide a starting point in choosing what to share:

  • How are you communicating with family, friends and colleagues?
  • Have certain places become more important to you?
  • What is something that has brought you unexpected joy?
  • What steps have you taken to protect your health and the health of others?

Phase 2 of the Covid-19 collection will be gathering three-dimensional objects and documents related to the coronavirus emergency for the Michigan History Museum system’s collections. 

In keeping with the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, this phase will begin with a call to the public to help identify items and move to physically gathering them once it is safe to do so. 

Phase 3 involves long-term collecting of stories through oral history, memoirs and other materials collected during the reflection period after the immediate crisis has ended.

You can learn more about how to contribute and the initiative on the Michigan.gov website.

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