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by Michael Hope


Coming together as a community to capture and preserve this unprecedented time in our history.

April 19, 2020

Coming together as a community to capture and preserve this unprecedented time in our history.

At our recent online global user group meeting we announced the #ourcovid19story initiative.

The aim was to do our small part by supporting our user community - who are actively capturing, documenting and preserving the unfolding story of the pandemic for future generations - by donating free storage and providing additional training and support.

We have been humbled by the response with over 50 institutions from government, education and major corporations coming forward so far to share how they are using or plan to use Preservica for different initiatives from capturing public record website bulletins to collecting and preserving video and oral histories from local communities. All, of course, while working from home.

Online industry focus groups at recent Preservica global user group meeting

Collaborating and sharing

The #ourcovid19story group has already come together on an online video event to share what they are doing as well as participating in a LinkedIn group that has been setup to enable further discussions. Other Preservica users are more than welcome to join – simply email by the middle of May - outlining your activities and plans.

Engaging the wider community

There are of course similar initiatives across the wider archival community that many, including Preservica users, are already participating in. We also plan to extend the program to enable the experiences of the #ourcovid19story group to be shared more widely to provide inspiration for archivist and records professionals everywhere as they grapple with the best ways to capture, document and preserve this unprecedented time in our history.

#ourcovid19story group in action

In the meantime, it has been humbling to read and hear about the many activities and plans underway at institutions right around the world (not just Preservica users) here are a some examples from the #ourcovid19story group.

Watch our Digital Preservation in real-time webinar to learn how archivists are delivering value to their institutions & communities during the pandemic, including speakers from:

  • The Royal College of Nursing (RCN)
  • City of Boston
  • Network Rail
  • University at Buffalo
  • Rhode Island Department of State
  • Lloyds Banking Group

A community collection at the Austin History Center, TX

The Austin History Center has launched an initiative to document life in Austin, TX during COVID-19 for future generations. The collection will reflect the city’s “new normal” at this unprecedented moment in history: work life in the time of social distancing; home quarantine setups; family conversations on Zoom; or sets of local business records. So far, digital donations have included photographs depicting deserted Downtown scenes, scans of COVID-19-inspired artwork, blog posts, and even poetry. You can read more in this Austin Chronicle article.

Web archiving at the Government of New Brunswick, Canada

William Vinh-Doyle the digital archivist at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick discusses in a recent LinkedIn post how he began to automate the capture of provincial and municipal government websites at the start of working from home. These sites are posting bulletins and updates on COVID-19 and William wanted to ensure this ephemeral digital content and other decision making was digitally preserved for future generations. William also gained support from his stakeholders to redeploy and train other archivists (now also working from home) in Preservica in order to ensure these important public records could be captured and preserved effectively.

Learn more

Please feel free to post your own initiatives to social media using the #ourcovid19story hashtag.

You might also be interested in our blog Some tips and ideas for digital archivists working from home

We are also producing new 10 min “how to” videos on uploading, curating, capturing, preserving and sharing digital content to help Preservica users stay productive while working from home - these are available on the user group portal.

Wishing you and your families well at this time.