"We will be talking about this for generations . . ."
For 145 years Worcester Historical Museum has had the unique responsibility of collecting our city’s past. We know history and there is no doubt that we are living through a particularly significant historical event. The time to start preserving this history is NOW.
Worcester Historical Museum wants YOU to join in capturing the stories, images, and sounds of our community living through the COVID-19 pandemic. In collaboration with Digital Worcester and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the Museum has created:
This is the place for you to upload any contribution – a photograph, a child’s drawing, a touching letter, a foreboding warning, or anything related to your experience during this pandemic. By sharing your story, it becomes our history – a chronicle of our city living apart but coming together to confront the extraordinary challenges, uncertainty, and hope of life in the time of COVID-19.
The digital collection of personal stories, images, videos, social media screen grabs, and emails alongside official records and documents will broaden our understanding of how the pandemic is affecting all segments of our community from Main Street to Vernon Hill, Tatnuck Square to Great Brook Valley, Quinsigamond Village to Webster Square. The result will be a vivid patchwork showing how our personal choices and responses have transformed the city and the bonds that hold us together. Digital collecting allows us to maintain physical distance yet still capture the poignant moments and transcendent hope of our times.
History is not just about creating a record for future students and scholars to interpret, it is also a form of community building in the present. As you digitally share your stories and images with the Museum by uploading them here, we will publish many of them through this website and Worcester Historical Museum’s social media. Even as the pandemic forces us apart, our digital record will demonstrate how we are still knit into a community and are in this together. You are an essential strand in the fabric of Worcester.
Please, take YOUR place in Worcester's history, by sharing your story here.
How can you be a part of this community project?
Participation is easy. Just click on “share a story.” You will be prompted to answer a series of short questions and then you can upload your contribution.
Not sure about what is suitable to share?
The possibilities are endless: Think of:
- public signs announcing closures
- photographs of empty shelves or newly planted gardens
- audio recordings of a neighbor’s good deed
- stories of how you your workplace responding to the crisis,
- personal journals of how you are spending time
- obituaries and memorials, because some stories are sad
- accounts of city workers stepping up to serve our communities
- short videos of your experience walking, shopping, or worshipping
- screenshots from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms
- Zoom recordings of people reaching out across distance to touch one another
Let your imagination and creativity be a guide about what to share. The silliness of stories or the quirkiest of anecdotes always enliven the best histories, so help us make our chronicle of Worcester’s COVID-19 response as vivid, alive, and diverse as the place we call home.
Worried about preserving your privacy?
You can contribute anonymously. Although Worcester Historical Museum asks for some contact information so we can follow up with any questions about your story, your name and geographic location may be left blank, if you so choose. We are eager for your participation.
What to share but do not want it published to the digital archive?
You can still upload materials but ask that WHM not publish them on this email or through social media. We recognize some stories are private, so we will handle your digital items with discretion and sensitivity and according to your wishes.
Still uncertain about sharing and seeking clarification?
Please check our policies for frequently asked question page in the menu. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
As we continue to maintain responsible social distance, we will close the COVID-19 gap by publishing some of your responses on our website and through Worcester Historical Museum social media. We also encourage you to hang onto documents, photos, and/or objects you may wish to donate to us in the future when we all return to the new normal. Stay safe, but please share.