Western Archives project looks to collect local experiences of COVID-19 pandemic

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London-area residents are being invited to share their COVID-19-related creations, experiences and stories as part of a project by Western Archives aimed at helping future generations learn about the local impact of the pandemic.

The initiative, COVID-19 in London, Ontario: Capturing the Local Experience, is open to anyone who lives, works or studies in London and Middlesex, including residents, businesses and organizations, archive officials say.

“We’re archivists, so we think about history being made and how that’ll be captured,” said Leslie Thomas-Smith, an archivist with Archives and Special Collections at Western Libraries.

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“It’s a project being done by a number of other archives as well, but we just really wanted to capture it for researchers in the future.”

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The project is collecting pandemic-related material including personal journals, correspondence, photographs, video, business records, social media posts and even local memes.

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“How often is the story told by people like us? Often it’s told by politicians and things like that,

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