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

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).

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 Guelph General Hospital 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.)

All contributions are welcome!

Complete this form and we will follow up with you.