January 15, 2021

Report: “2020, the Year You Want to Forget? Archivists Say Not So Fast”

From the National Post:

“I think it’ll be really interesting for students and researchers to come to this material and see what people were creating, what people were thinking, and how this moment will be remembered,” said Olivia Wong, a curatorial special at Ryerson University’s Archives and Special Collections who is working on the COVID-19 Community Experiences Archive.

For now, archives are not collecting physical records because of social distancing measures. At Queen’s University Archive, they anticipate collecting physical items like pandemic-related arts and crafts when it’s safe.

“It’s something we’re looking toward in order to round out everything,” said Jeremy Heil, a digital and private records archivist in Kingston, Ont.

Digital records are laying the groundwork for COVID-19 archives, which makes sense when the pandemic has forced people to work from home and rely on digital technology to stay connected.

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When it comes to storing these digital records, Queen’s pays for storage space by subscribing to a service called Archive It.

Queen’s archivists have been adding records from university and community webpages that “capture COVID-19 stories and stories that relate directly to the experience,” said Heil. These include notices and articles about masks and online education.

So far, U of T, Ryerson, and Queen’s are not making their COVID-19 collections public, while they curate and organize material for future display and research. The OJA has shared some COVID-19 contributions to its website.

Read the Complete Article (approx. 1300 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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