Long Island Museum announces collection to document COVID-19 pandemic

Long Island Museum announces collection to document COVID-19 pandemic

A temporary sign asking for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Stony Brook University Hospital, April 2019
Face masks (top to bottom): surgical, N95, and handmade, Port Jefferson, May 2019

The Long Island Museum (LIM) in Stony Brook has announced that they will be seeking the collection of objects, images and stories as related to the COVID-19 coronavirus to document for future generations on how Long Island responded during the crisis. 

Titled Collecting Our History: Long Island During COVID-19, the compilation will serve as a record of the community’s shared history, and will influence future exhibitions, programs, research, and other projects. The LIM is particularly interested in seeking material that exemplifies how the virus has impacted victims, medical personnel and other frontline workers, the operation of businesses, schools, religious and cultural organizations, and the structure and interactions of our daily lives both large and small.  

“The COVID-19 coronavirus is the most severe pandemic to impact Long Island since the Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919,” said Jonathan Olly, Curator at the LIM. “It is affecting our lives in dramatic and sometimes tragic ways.”

People living or working on Long Island, in Brooklyn and in Queens are invited to offer contributions of any digital or physical item that documents their experience and that of their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Material may include photographs, audio, and video, signs and posters, artwork, masks and other personal protective equipment, home recipes, journals, and planners. 

An empty paper goods aisle at Stop & Shop, Setauket, March 2019

Digital items can be emailed to [email protected] Photos should be in JPG, PNG, or TIF format, audio in MP3 or WAV, videos in MP4, AVI, WMV, or MOV, and documents in PDF, TIF, PNG, or JPG. All submissions must be by persons 18 years or older, and convey copyright (if applicable) to the Long Island Museum and include a description and contact information. 

“The LIM helps to preserve the experiences of Long Islanders and so we’re reaching out to our community to share with us the objects and images that help tell this story. In the coming years Collecting Our History: Long Island during COVID-19 will allow us to be able to look back on this time and see how it changed us, and how we persevered,” said Olly.

Select online submissions may be featured on the LIM’s website and/or social media platforms. Due to the volume of submissions the LIM may be unable to individually notify people if or when their digital submissions will be posted. The LIM prefers not to have objects sent to the Museum at this time, as the offices are currently closed. 

For further questions, please email the LIM’s Assistant Collections Manager, Molly McGirr at [email protected], or LIM’s Curator, Jonathan Olly at [email protected]