The Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive

Online and in the news, people are joking all the time that we’re living through a moment in history, and that they don’t want to be a part of it. But – we’d like to argue that this is the time to embrace the present and begin to document what is happening during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to preserve that history.

Luckily, in Rhode Island, the Providence Public Library and the Rhode Island Historical Society have joined to create the Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive, with the goal of documenting what this time has been like for our state. The idea is simple, share something about your time during this pandemic. Be it the first time you went on a walk with a mask, to just your general feelings throughout this time, all of it is welcome so that we – and future generations – can remember what life was like.  Photos, stories, videos, and even a COVID-19 pinata have all been added to the archive, and it is currently accepting new submissions.

Anyone of any age can add material to the new RI Covid-19 archive, with a few schools such as Barrington Middle School and Paul Cuffee School doing group projects to submit to the archive. The only requirement to submit is that you be a resident of the state of Rhode Island. All submissions are reviewed before being published to the website and retain a license in the Creative Commons, but you do give the Library and Historical Society the right to keep your work for their archives.

We encourage all to share what they’re doing and how their lives have been affected to this archive – cause while we know we’re living a part of history – we can embrace it and help form the narrative to help future generations.

Any questions about the archive can be directed to Becca Bender at bbender@rihs.org (who is the Film Archivist and Curator of Recorded Media at the Rhode Island Historical Society) or Kate Wells at kwells@provlib.org (who is the Curator of Rhode Island Collections at the Providence Public Library).

Or, listen to the OldPVD podcast where Maureen Taylor interviews these two about the initiative and just what it means to the state of Rhode Island at this link.