Washington State History Museum and Research Center are closed through December 14, 2020 per directives from the Office of the Governor related to COVID-19. Close

The COVID-19 pandemic is generating world-wide impacts and will have enduring repercussions.¬†Help capture this event as it unfolds. Each person’s story adds a unique thread in recording this global event.

We Want to Hear from You

You are living through a historic event and we want to capture your stories.

Do you wonder what it may have been like to live through the Spanish Flu or the Civil War? Future Washingtonians are going to want to know what happened during this pandemic. They’re going to wonder how we coped with the suddenly vacated office buildings, closed restaurants, and curtailed services. They’ll want to know stories of personal consequences such as canceled graduations, postponed weddings, and school closures. They’ll be curious about what we did during the Stay Home/Stay Healthy orders, and how we managed to come together to help one another.

Documenting COVID-19 History for the Future

Washington State Historical Society is a collecting institution. We collect and preserve artifacts and stories – cultural “data points” – to reveal how history connects us all. What we collect today will inform generations to come.

Would you like to contribute to WSHS’s collections?

Here are some ideas of what we’re looking for:

  • Digital content, for example screen shots of COVID-19 related web pages, emails, memes on social media
  • Audio recordings
  • Videos (click here for an example)
  • Photos
  • Written anecdotes or observations
  • Anything related to the coronavirus pandemic and your experience that you think would be interesting to someone ten, twenty, or one hundred years from now

How to Donate

Digital Items

Send your content to: digitalarchive@wshs.wa.gov.

If you have questions regarding how to send files, or file sizes, please email and we’ll assist!

We will reach out to you for additional information about your content such as when/where photos were taken, who is speaking in an audio recorded conversation, etc., and for your permission to add it to our collections.

Physical Items

We would be grateful for physical objects too. Please consider setting those aside and contact collections staff when WSHS is able to re-open the Research Center. You can email us at digitalarchive@wshs.wa.gov and we’ll arrange a method for delivery.

Some examples of objects (by no means a complete list!):

  • Homemade face masks
  • Diaries, journals, letters
  • Signs posting park closures, “do not gather” notices, or other social distancing directives
  • Direct mail pieces related to coronavirus
  • Zoom University t-shirt
  • Objects made at home during the Stay Home/Stay Healthy order

Questions?

Please send us an email at digitalarchive@wshs.wa.gov and we’ll get back to you. Thank you!