Staff at this B.C. museum want to read personal diary entries written during the pandemic
The Trail Museum and Archives is planning to exhibit records for future generations
It's been said that we are living in unprecedented times.
Now, a B.C. museum wants to ensure future generations can get a sense of what it was like to live through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Trail Museum and Archives in the West Kootenay region of the province is asking area residents to donate their diaries, journals or other personal records that reflect how they felt and what they did during the coronavirus outbreak.
The plan is to exhibit these first-hand accounts at the museum years from now to give the public a sense of this historic moment.
"We can read the news. We can read the measures that are being put in place, but we don't really know how that lands with people," said museum manager Sarah Benson-Lord in an interview on Daybreak South.
She said a good journal entry could include the small details of daily living, writing about your emotions and ethical dilemmas, such as risking a trip to the shops for one item.
Benson-Lord also recommends writing as if you expect someone to read it, rather than just keeping basic records about case numbers and daily tasks.
"I'd love to know what people are learning about themselves," she said, adding that keeping a journal is also an opportunity for people who don't sound off on social media to vent their frustrations.
The museum staff is particularly interested in submissions from essential workers that reveal their feelings and fears while working on the front lines of the health crisis.
Benson-Lord said the exhibition won't be displayed for at least five years, likely longer. She said the wait is necessary to see what ramifications the pandemic will have on society.
Museum staff can copy any donated records, so donors can keep a copy for themselves and donors can ask for privacy protection if their entries are particularly sensitive.
Donations can be made in-person at the Trail Museum and Archives at the city's Riverfront Centre once emergency orders are lifted and the facility reopens. Questions for museum staff can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With files from Daybreak South