Local COVID-19 Collection Project Builds History for the Future

The Orange County Regional History Center is asking individuals and entities to donate records of their experiences during the pandemic to the museum’s COVID-19 Collecting Project.

“This pandemic is an unprecedented experience for almost all living Americans,” says the museum’s director, Michael Perkins. “We’re asking Central Floridians to help us document this significant history, as it happens.”

Through preserving the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of everyday Central Floridians during the coronavirus pandemic, the museum seeks to create a record of the event and also help communities, medical institutions, researchers, and policy makers respond to similar pandemics and emergencies in the future.

“The History Center is committed to collecting the experience of those impacted by the virus and the resultant quarantine in any way,” says Pamela Schwartz, the History Center’s chief curator.  “From daily life at home or helping children with digital learning, to being quarantined on a cruise ship or actually surviving the virus, all facets of this human experience are vital to the larger narrative of impact in our community.”

Anyone living, working, or visiting the museum’s seven-county region (Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, and Volusia counties) is invited to participate through donations that reflect their experiences, including photographs, recordings, journal entries, and social media posts.

Donations are being accepted through digital transmission on the History Center’s website, at thehistorycenter.org/collections/covid-19-collecting/.

To donate other items or to learn more, please contact the museum’s curator of collections, Lesleyanne Drake, at Lesleyanne.Drake@ocfl.net. Submissions received by the museum may become a part of the History Center’s permanent archival collection.


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