Through my digital public history course, I had the opportunity to contribute to a digital collection focusing on my school’s experiences with COVID-19. I had gone back and forth debating what type of source I wanted to contribute but I ultimately decided to submit a copy of Rowan’s Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights (RCHGHR) Spring 2020 event calendar, which is attached below. I wanted to contribute this because I am active within RCHGHR’s Student Association and believe that this could be a valuable source for comparing what was planned to happen in 2020 and what actually happened. For me, this was an incredibly memorable semester because we had to totally change everything we did at school — classes went virtual, taking exams in my childhood bedroom.
The process of contributing to this collection was incredibly user friendly. There were some technical things that I needed to learn, like the proper way to enter the date and what to add to the description, but the process was quick and easy. The actual process of filling out the necessary information and uploading the source took approximately ten minutes. I felt like this tool was incredibly user friendly and I did not require much background information in order to complete.
From contributing to this online collection, I was able to quickly compare this initiative from Rowan University to the Journal of the Plague Year (JOTPY). As expressed by Rebecca Wingo, director of public history at University of Cincinnati, “Working on JOTPY is exhausting but invigorating. The decisions we and others working on other COVID-19 archives make behind the scenes are reshaping the practice of rapid response collecting. But our decision-making is not secret, and our curatorial ranks are not exclusive.” Rowan’s collection allows any person to be a contributor, similarly to JOTPY. Not only does this make the collection more diverse, but allows the public to be more involved with digital public history.
To see this item in the described collection, click here!