COLLECTING COVID AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON
Though the Museum of London is currently closed due to the pandemic, it has launched the ‘Collecting COVID’ initiative encouraging Londoners to donate physical and digital objects as well as their experiences of the unprecedented period we are living through, to record it for future generations. COVID-19 isn’t the first pandemic London has faced and the museum already holds objects relating to past pandemics within its collection, such as a segmental pomander in the shape of watch allowing 17th century Londoners to carry herbs and infusions thought to ward off infection during the plague and an early 20th century advert for Flu-Mal – a product claiming to prevent and cure influenza.
The museum is keen to capture the voices and experiences of a broad range of Londoners and there are three areas of focus: capturing the physical alterations to the city from bustling streets to eerily empty, the effects on working life for frontline key worker and those working remotely, and the impact on children and young people adapting to life without educational institutions. Photographs, diaries, handmade signs of support for the NHS, unusual printed face masks, and anything relating to this period of our history are of interest.