Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne, looking West (detail), 24 March 2020. Photographer: Katie Dunning (Old Treasury Building). A Journal of the Plague Year: an Archive of CoVid19

A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of COVID19

The Melbourne History Workshop in SHAPS has launched the Melbourne node of ‘A Journal of the Plague Year: An Archive of Covid19’, in collaboration with our friends at Arizona State University, who initiated the project on 13 March 2020.

MHW are encouraging everyone to document how COVID19 has affected their lives. Share your story in text, images, video, tweets, texts, Facebook posts, Instagram or Snapchat memes, and screenshots of the news and emails: anything that speaks to the realities or paradoxes of the moment.

The project is a way of helping our community to understand the extraordinary as well as the ordinary aspects of this pandemic. In the future, historians will be also able to use this record of daily life to better understand the changing nature of our lives.

In an effort to help minimise the spread of the virus, universities have transitioned to digital or online teaching and learning. Building a crowdsourced digital archive of the virus, and its impact on everyday life, offers a ready-made opportunity for students to engage what it means to be a historian. How do we build an inclusive digital archive of the virus? Related questions abound regarding the items that we collect. How do we show the subtle ways life has changed, as well as the ways it has not?

We would love it if you could circulate information about the project (including the digital poster below) to help us to quickly build the collection in real time through the Omeka website.

Click on ‘Share your story’ and follow the prompts in each field. Make sure you enter a Melbourne address or locality in the ‘Find a geographic location. field, and click the ‘Publish my contribution on the web’ box at the bottom of the page. (Entries are moderated before being published).

Feature image: Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne, looking West (detail), 24 March 2020. Photographer: Katie Dunning (Old Treasury Building). A Journal of the Plague Year: an Archive of CoVid19

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