COVID-19 One Year Later: DC Public Library Seeks Items Showing How Life Changed

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COVID-19 One Year Later: DC Public Library Seeks Items Showing How Life Changed

Archive This Moment DC Relaunched as Annual Initiative

DC residents can help tell future generations how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted them in the past year. The DC Public Library People's Archive is expanding its Archive this Moment DC initiative and asking community members to submit media with descriptions that answer the question, "How has COVID-19 changed your life?" 
 
Archive this Moment DC started in March 2020 as a way for District residents to document what happened when the COVID-19 pandemic brought life in Washington, D.C. to a standstill. More than 2,000 items were collected and have been uploaded to the People's Archive’s digital platform,  Dig DC. Because of this success, the Library is making it an annual effort that documents the most significant event that occurred over the last 12 months.
 
People will be able to submit up to five objects (photos, text, videos) via an online form through the end of June. Library archivists will organize the submissions, create complete records of the materials and make them available online.
 
"The digital media that people captured over the past year can have tremendous value to Washingtonians in the future," said Kerrie Cotten Williams, manager of the People's Archive. "Many of the photos that researchers find in the Library started out as a District resident’s photos. Created this collection with community will ensure that the Archive this Moment DC captures impactful events in Washington, year by year."
 
First-person accounts are an essential part of telling the city's history. They go beyond familiar narratives and offer a glimpse into how significant events impacted daily life. The People's Archive at the DC Public Library has documented the social, cultural and political life in the District of Columbia dating back to the late 18th Century. In addition to last year's Archive This Moment DC initiative, the People's Archive has a strong history of collecting and using personal collections to tell the District's story. For example, Dr. Darrell C. Crain Jr., a local rheumatologist and amateur photographer, documented historic events in Washington, D.C. over 50 years, including the March on Washington. His collection provides a vibrant glimpse of the past. The Library hopes that Archive This Moment DC makes a similar contribution to the city's local history.
 
Items can be submitted by visiting the Library's website at dclibrary.org/archivethismomentdc. The Archive This Moment DC collection is housed on Dig DC, the Library's web portal for digitized and born-digital special collections items. To view the collection, visit digdc.dclibrary.org/.