COVID-19 Stories Project

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) is partnering with Libraries Tasmania on a long-term collecting project to document the Tasmanian community’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Stories Project seeks to capture the impact of this historic event on the lives and livelihoods of everyday Tasmanians to create a collective memory for the future.

As cultural institutions, we know how crucial it is to collect this material now, so that future generations can comprehend how Tasmanians lived through the pandemic.

We want to collect photographs, writing and other objects that represent the items that have mattered to Tasmanians during this unprecedented period of disruption, social distancing and self-isolation.

At TMAG, we will focus on collecting three-dimensional (3D) items and objects, as well as the personal stories and meanings connected to them, while our colleagues at Libraries Tasmania will be collecting photographs, documents and written stories.

We hope that a wide range of items will be submitted, from personal digital photography to hardcopy items such as personal written accounts, diaries, posters and other material such as the contents of care packages used by Tasmanians in quarantine.

Our project team will also be contacting others, including elderly Tasmanians in isolation, innovative business owners, or frontline staff who have gone beyond what they normally do in order to survive.

The project team will select a range of stories and experiences to be preserved from the many submissions that will help document this pivotal moment in history, and bring it to life for future generations.

Both TMAG and Libraries Tasmania envisage sharing the COVID-19 collections with the public at an appropriate time to enable Tasmanians to reflect on this experience from both a local and global perspective.

What are we looking for?

TMAG will be collecting 3D objects and the stories related to them as part of the COVID-19 Stories Project. This includes items that relate to official responses to the pandemic, as well as those things that have brought you comfort at home. Some examples we have seen include hand sanitisers produced by Tasmanian distilleries and a fluorescent jigsaw puzzle of the Colosseum taken out of storage and completed by a Hobart family while isolating at home (pictured below).

Sanitiser and jigsaw

You can also submit your writing and digital photographs to Libraries Tasmania.

How do I make a submission?

Email the COVID-19 Stories Project team at COVID19stories@education.tas.gov.au with details of your object and the story it tells, a photograph of it, and your contact details. The team will reply to you either by email or phone. If your submission is accepted, we will ask you to complete a donation/gift agreement and will organise the best way to receive your item(s).

Where can I find more information about the project?

Please visit the Libraries Tasmania website and browse the Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any further questions, please email COVID19stories@education.tas.gov.au.

Banner image: Hand-painted sign seen in Mount Stuart, courtesy of Helen Shield.