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COVID stories captured for international archive

Published 06 Jul 2020

As we all live through life under the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of University of Tasmania students have been scrambling to archive these experiences for future generations.

The University’s School of Humanities COVID-19 archive collection 'Stories from beyond the Moat' has been curated on Instagram and will be added to the international A Journal of the Plague of the Year, which has been contributed to by Universities around the world to create an international archive of COVID-19 experiences for future generations.

The original initiative came from Arizona State University researchers who believed while we all lived history every day, most of us had the luxury of not being aware of it – until COVID-19.

The University of Tasmania School of Humanities contribution began as an alternative Honours year assessment to replace a face-to-face assessment that had been planned but could not be carried out under pandemic restrictions.

“As a Humanities Honours cohort, coming from a range of different backgrounds and discipline areas, we wanted to be involved in documenting this event for the future,” student Carla Baker said.

“We thought we would provide an interesting selection of 'artefacts' and felt a responsibility to do this for future generations.”

However, the project’s benefits went beyond just its historical merits.

“As a side benefit, it also assisted in developing our teamwork and gave us an opportunity to discuss how COVID-19 was affecting us,” Ms Baker said.

“It helped us feel more connected as a group, even though we were no longer meeting together on campus.”

While A Journal of the Plague Year archive has been generated predominately by academic communities around the world so far, it is hoped the archive will have benefits throughout the international community and encourage a conversation between people about their experiences through COVID-19.

Anyone can contribute to A Journal of the Plague of the Year and the more content, the better the archive will be for the future.

The School of Humanities is part of the University of Tasmania’s College of Arts, Law and Education.