|Weekly News Digest
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Library of Congress Presents Its Pandemic Collections
The Library of Congress has been working on documenting the COVID-19 pandemic and is sharing some of what it has collected. Its goal has been “acquiring photographs that document the pandemic’s impact on individuals and communities, capturing artists’ responses to the outbreak, mapping the pandemic’s spread and archiving the world’s response online.” Initiatives have included the following:
- In May of 2020, the Library’s Prints & Photographs Division curators and staff specialists carefully selected more than 50 pandemic-related posters for acquisition from the nonprofit Amplifier design lab, and a door opened for receiving digital as well as printed versions of the artworks.
- As part of the Library’s rapid-response collecting efforts, the Prints and Photographs Division is collaborating with the photo-sharing site Flickr to invite contributions of digital photographs and graphic art that show how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted lives, communities, or life in the United States at large.
- MacArthur Award-winning photographer Camilo Vergara donated his first group of COVID-19-related images to the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division shortly after the pandemic took off in March 2020. … His still-growing pandemic photo series, focusing on New York City neighborhoods, now includes more than 2,000 images in the Library’s collection.
- [T]he Music Division has undertaken a strategy to capture our nation’s cultural heritage in this unprecedented time by establishing the Performing Arts COVID-19 Response Collection. This carefully curated collection amasses artistic works along with any accompanying primary source materials that document the performing arts creative response to the pandemic.
- Washington, D.C. artist Toni Lane created a series of powerful, highly personal drawings in response to the question “What [do] you do all day while in quarantine?” which was posed in mid-March 2020 by the director of her gallery, Art Enables.
- The Library’s Geography and Maps Division has been monitoring and collecting data that could be useful for future analysis and understanding the history of the pandemic. For example, the Library is taking snapshots of the data released from the Global Initiative for Sharing All Influenza Data, which aggregates rapidly accumulating genomic data from labs around the world during serious disease pandemics, and makes that data available to qualified and registered users.
- The Library has developed and initiated a web collecting plan led by experts in the Science, Technology and Business Division to create a well-balanced collection of archived pandemic-related websites that will be preserved and made available. Subject areas will include government information on the pandemic, social and cultural impacts, scientific material, personal narratives and everyday life.
For more information, read the press release.
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