Documenting the pandemic: Historical society invites community response
Stories, letters, photos, art, videos — they can tell a story, the story of how the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 was felt in the town of Ridgefield, Conn.
The Ridgefield Historical Society has begun an archive focused on Ridgefield’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The project will preserve not only documentary evidence of how the leaders of the town dealt with the state-mandated changes in daily life, but also, historical society volunteers hope, the personal reactions of townspeople in this unprecedented time.
Since 2002, Ridgefield Historical Society has been archiving photographs, written materials and artifacts that document Ridgefield’s history. Because understanding the present is aided by looking to the past, the latest Scott House Journal of the Ridgefield Historical Society available at ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org recounts how Ridgefield reacted in the 1918 influenza pandemic.
In the future, perhaps 100 years from now, should there be another global pandemic affecting Ridgefielders, the Ridgefield Historical Society’s records of the time of COVID-19 may be a valuable resource, historical society volunteers said.
Local business owners, students, health care workers, teachers, parents and children can all help to preserve this history by donating photographs, artwork, personal reflections, stories, letters and more. These items, if approved by the society’s collections committee, will be stored in the society’s archives and made available to future researchers and visitors to the collection.
A video project is also underway as part of the archive effort, with townspeople invited to share three-minute reflections on their personal experiences of lives changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More information and a form for submitting items for the archive are posted on the Ridgefield Historical Society website ridgefieldhistoricalsociety.org . Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.