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Museum documenting the impact of COVID-19 in Virginia

In 25 years, COVID-19, may be part of the collective U.S. and world
history and the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) is doing
it’s part to document these unprecedented days as society deals with it
newest pandemic.
The museum announced this week it is implementing a new collecting
initiative to document the impact of COVID-19 on all Virginians
throughout the commonwealth.
“As we continue to react and adapt to the widespread COVID-19 health and
financial crisis, we feel that our institution is uniquely positioned to
lead the important work of documenting the impact of this unprecedented
and far-reaching emergency in Virginia,” said VMHC President and CEO
Jamie Bosket. “Like other great trials of our past, we know that it is
critical that future generations be able to learn from what we are
facing today.”
As the Virginia’s oldest cultural organization and the only institution
dedicated to telling the entire story of Virginia, the VMHC is launching
an initiative to document the ways our Commonwealth and its communities
have been impacted by the pandemic.  The VMHC will be accepting digital
submissions throughout the crisis on a special webpage which allows all
Virginians to share their stories, upload original images, audio or
video recordings, or donate artifacts to the collection.  Experiences
relating to changes in daily life, work and family needs, and the role
of the health care and first responder community will be of particular
interest.
These submissions will be added to the VMHC’s renowned collection of
nearly nine million items for future research, exhibition, and
programmatic use. The VMHC’s extensive holdings already includes
personal accounts of Virginians closing schools, building makeshift
hospitals, and “staying in” due to yellow fever in 1855, smallpox in
1905, and the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918.
More information about this important initiative and how to contribute
content can be found online at  VirginiaHistory.org/COVID19Stories.
This is the latest new development in VMHC’s commitment to serving
Virginians during these trying times. The VMHC recently launched a
curated collection of free digital resources and learning materials –
one of the most impressive offerings of any likeminded organization in
Virginia (VirginiaHistory.org/AtHome). This growing portfolio includes
hundreds of hours of video content, hundreds of pages of articles and
historical research, brand new virtual tours, as well as tools for
student learning and engagement at home.

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