Rapid Response Collecting: Let’s document this major moment in history

Banner images: Flooded Street after Bursting of Goldie’s Dam, 1929 (2002.81.5)
Guelph Spring Flood, 1948 (2008.42.1)
Coronavirus Illustration, Medical News Today

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is a major moment in history. We are experiencing its impact locally, nationally and internationally. Guelph Museums is committed to preserving our experiences, as individuals, families, and communities face this crisis together.

Rapid Response Collecting is a new type of collecting activity at Guelph Museums. We are interested in collecting contemporary objects and personal expressions, in the midst of city-wide closures, social distancing protocols, and our individual and collective experiences. We believe that Rapid Response Collecting will help us to collect and preserve truths about how we are living in this moment.

Guelph Museums is interested in collecting both born-digital items (images and expressions that are created and published in digital formats) and physical objects (material items, both hand-made and mass-produced).

Digital and Physical Items

Complete this form and we will follow up with you.

Examples of born-digital items:

  • Photographs of sidewalk art, empty streets, parks and storefronts, daily selfies or family self-portraits
  •  Your view of the outside world, taken through a window or doorway at your place of isolation (i.e. house, condo, basement apartment, etc.)
  • Pictures of the interior space where you spend most of your time (i.e. bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, basement, garden, art studio, workshop, etc.)
  • Screenshots of messages, threads, and images shared through social media platforms (i.e. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Memes and other unique formats of digital communication
  • Pictures and written reflections from the perspective of frontline workers

Examples of physical items:

  • The handwritten journal you started while at home
  • The CD or vinyl record you listened to when your family had a kitchen dance off on day-15 of self-isolation
  • Your favourite takeout menu or family recipe eaten during the pandemic
  • Things you made by hand (i.e. knitting, crocheting, papier-mâché, drawing, painting, constructing, etc.)
  • Locally 3D-printed PPE (personal protective equipment), locally sewn masks, rocks painted and placed at GGH in tribute to healthcare workers, etc.
  • Mass-produced products that have become important during the pandemic (i.e. an N95 mask, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc.)

Save Your Story

Write about, draw and/or record what you are experiencing right now. We are going to want to hear your perspectives from this time in our history. Stay tuned for further information about how you can share your stories so they become part of the collective account of history preserved at Guelph Museums. #YourGuelphStory 

Collection of personal information

Personal information is being collected and will be used for the purpose of contacting potential Guelph Museum donors.

Personal information, as defined by Section 2 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), is collected under the authority of the Municipal Act, 2001, and in accordance with the provisions of MFIPPA.

If you have questions about Rapid Response Collecting by Guelph Museums, please contact [email protected].

If you have questions about the collection, use or disclosure of this personal information please contact the City’s Information and Access Coordinator at 519-822-1260 extension 2349 or email [email protected].

Posted by Sarah Ball on April 16, 2020

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