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COVID-19 Project

We are collecting material related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and contribute here.

Anna Schwartz, Louis Valentino, Jr. Park and Pier, Red Hook, April 2020; BHS COVID-19 collection, 2020.003; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Check out material that has been donated as part of our COVID-19 collecting project here and here!

Even as we cope with these difficult times, Brooklyn Historical Society is focused on our responsibility to document and preserve the borough’s history. Our collections are the heart of the institution. Through them scholars, students, and individuals from all over the world build knowledge about Brooklyn’s past and present.

Brooklyn Historical Society is actively collecting material related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is impacting daily life on an unprecedented scale. Our goal is to document and preserve the collective experiences of our community during the crisis, including the health, economic, social, political, and religious impacts of COVID-19 on our borough. With your help, Brooklyn Historical Society will build a collection that reflects the many ways Brooklynites were impacted by, and responded to, this crisis.

We invite and encourage you to share your thoughts, stories, and the material you have collected or created related to COVID-19 in Brooklyn.

CONTRIBUTING DIGITAL CONTENT

If you are interested in sharing digital content such as photographs, videos, and audio clips, please use our online submission form here. Digital content may be shared through our online collections platforms and social media accounts.

CONTRIBUTING PHYSICAL ITEMS

We cannot accept physical objects at this time, but will begin collecting when we reopen to the public. To submit objects for consideration, please email a photo of the object (or a group of objects) and a brief description to [email protected] Unfortunately, we are only able to reply to emails regarding materials we are considering for acquisition.

Anna Schwartz, Lavender Lake, Gowanus, April 2020; BHS COVID-19 collection, 2020.003; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Suggested materials, physical or digital, include:

  • Artifacts
  • Artistic reflections (e.g. rainbow artwork)
  • Business and restaurant signage about closures, fundraising initiatives, social distancing measures, and amended menus
  • Government issued posters, reports, and decrees concerning public health and safety
  • Grocery store lists and receipts
  • Housing-related material, such as rent abatements, strikes and eviction notices
  • Local and mutual aid organizations’ flyers, newsletters, mass mailings, records, and reports
  • Lesson plans and other educational material related to remote learning and homeschooling
  • Personal correspondence and journals
  • Photographs of closed businesses, hospitals and temporary medical facilities, social distancing, homeschooling, and religious activity
  • Video and audio diaries, journal entries, and reflections

Submitted materials will be reviewed by Collections staff, and may be added to our permanent collections. Items may be shared on social media. Material mailed to BHS without prior communication with BHS staff cannot be added to our collections or returned to sender. If you have questions about this collecting initiative, or our terms and conditions, please reach out to [email protected]