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Sharing Stories: LA COVID-19 Community Archive

Kelly Wallace, Librarian, History Department,
Florence and Dexter at home
"I’m grateful that my husband is home and I’m able to continue my nursing program virtually." Florence & Dexter, April 14, 2020 Eagle Rock,CA. Photo credit: RJ Guillermo, Safer at Home Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections

History is more than government documents, statistical reports, and newspaper headlines. History isn’t just the chyrons running across the bottom of your television screen. It is the stories of everyday people.

As librarians, we realize the power of first-hand accounts to bring history to life and fill in the gaps in history textbooks. That is why we want to hear from you.

The Los Angeles Public Library invites all Angelenos to contribute to the LA COVID-19 Community Archive (formerly the Safer at Home Archive). The Archive is a collective effort to document these extraordinary times. Our goal is to build a digital collection of photos, diaries, drawings, poetry, letters, signs and more that will help future generations understand what it was like living in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Your submissions can illustrate any aspect of this crisis that is meaningful to you: social distancing, telecommuting, homeschooling, being an essential worker, changes in daily routines, loneliness, the hunt for toilet paper, and yeast. Entries may be humorous or heartbreaking, down-to-earth or uplifting, poetic, or practical. We want to include as many different perspectives from as many diverse communities as we can.

Please join us in this effort. It is an opportunity to be a part of history and help future students and researchers study the pandemic and its impact on Los Angeles and the lives of Angelenos.

You will find everything you need to know about making submissions on the LA COVID-19 Community Archive page.

Thank you for your submissions. We are no longer accepting contributions. Browse the LA COVID-19 Community Archive Collection on Tessa


 Diary entry that discusses the event of the 3.8 earthquake that hit Culver City during the pandemic.
Diary entry that discusses the event of the 3.8 earthquake that hit Culver City during the pandemic. Credit: Amira Lyn Bennett, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections
A collection of portraits
A collection of portraits taken during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. As individuals and families from Santa Monica to Pasadena hunker down and shelter in place, they reflect on their experience and contemplate on what lies ahead. Photo credit: RJ Guillermo, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections
Two boys in Southeast Florence-Firestone
Two boys in Southeast Florence-Firestone interacting over the fence that separates their houses. One boy is being held up to peek over the fence by the photographer, and the other is standing on his porch, blowing bubbles. Photo credit: Isabel Irwin Merritt, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections
boy playing fetch in his yard
In Encino, a young man plays with his dog angel in his backyard, since he cannot go to the park or other public places. Photo credit: Cireny Hawrylo, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections
A sign put up by United Artists Theatre
A sign put up by United Artists Theatre, one of the many venues that have been shut down due to the quarantine in Los Angeles. Photo credit: Rachel Ryan, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections
safer at home collection
A photo collage of a West Hollywood couple's interactions with neighbors and friends from their balcony. Photo credit: Retha Petruzates-Spencer, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections
Sliced Bread poem
An Angeleno waiting in line to shop at Ralphs reflects upon his grandfather, father, a shoplifter, and the Coronavirus shutdown in this poem. Credit: Constantin Preda, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections
cousins shared the same cookie recipe
In Beverly Hills and London, cousins shared the same cookie recipe and baked at the same time, using Facebook Portal to communicate. Photo credit: Sharon Baumgold, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections
John Grier Lines up 6 feet from the register
John Grier Lines up 6 feet from the register to order takeout from Home Brewed Bar in Old Town Pasadena. Photo credit: Elliott Percival, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections
safer at home collection
At Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center, Heather Johnson, seven months pregnant going in for an examination. Because of COVID-19 she had to take a temperature check before entering the building, and wore a mask during the entire appointment. Her husband was not allowed to go in with her. Photo credit: Heather Johnson, LA COVID-19 Community Archive, Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections

Thank you to Suzanne Im, Sung Kim, and Rose Knopka of the Digitization and Special Collections Department for their tremendous efforts to build and curate the LA COVID-19 Community Archive.


 

 

 

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