Heinz History Center Opens Call for Your COVID-19 Artifacts

We’re living through a historical event, and you can become part of how it’s remembered.


Walking through a history museum, you often find quotidian objects sprinkled among the seemingly more important artifacts. Photographs of strangers whose names aren’t remembered by textbooks, silverware from companies no longer in existence — things that fill in the world and humanity of a particular time and place. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is already being compared to other major historical events such as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and even World War II. The Heinz History Center wants to remember how western Pennsylvania lived through this moment in history, and it wants materials from Pittsburghers to fill the archive. 

Curators and archivists are seeking physical objects, documents, photographs and digital content that reflect the experiences of the people in the region, from government officials to organizations and businesses to caregivers. Items donated will be preserved for future study and research, and to document how people continued to work, learn and communicate through this crisis. 

The History Center encourages potential donors to consider their jobs and experiences. Medical professionals have different stories to share than service workers, safety personnel and local business owners, but all are important to record. 

Objects such as modified takeout menus, business signage, home lesson plans and grocery lists will become ways of understanding how life changed for all of us at this time. Digital artifacts are also encouraged for donation, from home movies to social media posts, websites and blog posts. 

If you want to become part of how history is remembered, visit the Heinz History Center website to donate digital content or email acquisitions@heinzhistorycenter.org to donate physical objects or archival materials.

Categories: The 412