Journal of the Plague Year: Call for Submissions

Is your institution collecting materials related to CoVid-19? How is your museum addressing closure? In what ways are you pivoting toward re-opening?

You are invited to contribute to Journal of the Plague Year (JOTPY): An Archive of CoVid-19, a crowdsourced public archive developed and run by a consortium of faculty, students, practitioners, and professionals across a number of fields who are interested in collecting digital artifacts of the CoVid-19 pandemic. Artifacts include the following submission formats such as photographs, textual personal accounts, video and audio recordings, screenshots of born-digital content including social media posts, emails, news stories, and memes.

We are particularly seeking submissions related to museums, and we invite you to contribute items in any number of ways!

We are seeking first-person accounts of the impact of CoVid-19 on your life and/or the life of your institution. What are the images of your institution’s closure to the public? What will be the new normal once your institution re-opens to the public?  

We are also seeking submissions related to materials in your collection that relate to CoVid-19. Are you actively collecting items related to CoVid-19? Are you undertaking rapid-response collecting? Do you have a home for these items online? You are invited to contribute your collections to the archive and have the Journal of the Plague Year (JOTPY): An Archive of CoVid-19 host your items, with full credit and attribution to you and/or your institution as the Contributor. Or, we invite you to share your already-hosted content with the Journal of the Plague Year (JOTPY): An Archive of CoVid-19, with full credit and attribution to you and/or your institution as the Contributor. [The difference between the two is that the former instance provides a home for content otherwise not online and/or not aggregated in one location by you or your institution: The Journal of the Plague Year (JOTPY) becomes the repository for your content. The latter instance offers a snapshot of content that lives on your or your institution’s website, meaning that your permanent URLs are linked in the JOTPY site.

The Journal of the Plague Year (JOTPY): An Archive of CoVid-19 is a crowdsourced initiative with more than 80 curators from across the US and Australia. The archive is supported by the Public History endowment at Arizona State University. The initiative was launched on March 13, 2020, and as of today, we have more than 5,000 contributions: https://covid19.omeka.net/items/browse. The majority are from the US, although we have representation from Australia, Peru, Brazil, Thailand, China, and many other locations.

We hope that you will consider joining our archival journey to document CoVid-19. You are welcome to upload your submission on the Share Your Story page. Check the box “Publish my contribution to the web” to make the submission visible on the site; otherwise it will remain private. Or, reach out to me, and I will be glad to help facilitate a single submission or multiple submissions from you or your institution. We also have some support through ASU to provide an intern who may be able to help with uploading your items to the JOTPY site.

Finally, we want to send a word of hope and promise. There is no question that the coronavirus emergency is deeply affecting all our lives. How will these times be remembered? We are hoping to build an archive that provides glimpses of what the crisis means to individuals, and we want to be sure that museums and their communities are represented. We hope you can join us!

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, 

Juilee Decker, Museums Lead of Curatorial Team

Journal of the Plague Year (JOTPY): An Archive of CoVid-19 

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