Outbreak of COVID-19 Archive Projects Sweep The Nation

COVID-19 Archive Projects Sweep The Nation

Baton Rouge, LA., May 13, 2020 – The digital exhibit storytelling company, Pass It Down, proves to be a helpful tool to archivists of historical societies, universities, and public libraries as they rapidly deploy COVID-19 archiving initiatives across the country.

“We are seeing an escalation of community-driven projects to document how COVID-19 has affected the day-to-day lives of their citizens,” said Chris Cummings, Founder and CEO of Pass It Down.  “In just the last 4 weeks we’ve seen over 65 institutions announce initiatives to collect photos, videos, diaries, and audio recordings to preserve stories about the COVID-19 experience.”  

Designed to help organizations easily create interactive digital exhibits, Pass It Down’s platform was recently used by the curators at The History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff  to quickly build and launch their latest online exhibit entitled, 300 Photos, 30 Days: A Candid Look at COVID-19 – an interactive story about social distancing, working from home, virtual learning, and personal efforts to stay connected.

“As archivists, we needed to collect stories from within our community so future generations can study the sociological and cultural impacts of this pandemic”, said Carol Summerfield, Executive Director of The History Center. “We encouraged residents, healthcare workers, business owners, and nonprofits to capture their personal stories during COVID-19 and upload their photos, videos, and narratives to the platform.  We were able to quickly and nimbly take this historic multimedia and turn it into an engaging online exhibit for our community and future generations. The community completely embraced the initiative and was quite responsive to the request.”

Pass it Down has an easy-to-use online tool and a library of ready-to-use design templates to assist archivists in building engaging online exhibits in minutes. “We believe everyone should be able to create their own beautiful and immersive exhibits that tell engaging stories about their collections”, said Cummings.  “The global pandemic of COVID-19 is a major historical event that archivists around the world are working hard to document and preserve.”

“We are very pleased to be working with Pass It Down to bring our community’s story to life”, said Summerfield.  “We believe our crowdsourcing efforts have produced a rich and inclusive archive about our personal experiences during this pandemic and we’re excited about the engaging exhibit that we delivered back to the public. Having an online tool that we were already using made it quick and easy to act on an idea and have it up and running within a week.”

Pass It Down and The History Center are hosting a live online interview on May 26, 2020 for all archivists and curators across the country who are interested in learning how the museum collected, curated, and produced their online exhibit with tips on crowdsourcing great content and how to quickly turn around an online exhibit for the community.

The live interview between Pass It Down and The History Center of Lake Forest-Lake Bluff is scheduled on Thursday, May 26, 2020 at 1:00PM EST.  Individuals interested in joining the live online interview should click here and register https://www.crowdcast.io/e/crowdsourcing-covid-19

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