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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Mar 25, 2020

Historical Association Seeks Participants to Share Pandemic Experience

As citizens of the world are facing what many believe is an unparalleled pandemic, the Monmouth County Historical Association (MCHA) has initiated a program designed to gather first-person impressions of this tumultuous chapter in history from county residents, both adult and children, to be archived in the digital collection “Remembering COVID-19.”

“As the size and scope of the crisis became more and more apparent, MCHA saw the need to document the day-to-day experience in Monmouth County and also provide an avenue for people to stay connected in this time of social distancing,” said MCHA Research Librarian and Archivist Dana Howell.

Howell, along with Associate Curator Joe Zemla, formulated a survey, with a version for adults and one for children, allowing people to share their impressions and experiences dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. Participants are also welcomed to share relevant photos documenting their perspectives.

“In designing the questions, we tried to think of what people would be curious to know about this time 100 years from now, focusing on the personal aspects of the event not typically recorded by media,” Howell said. “Our additional goal for the children’s version is to help instill confidence and a sense of satisfaction as well as offer an opportunity for creativity and even a little fun.”

In addition to creating the collection “Remembering COVID-19,” with permission from participants, submissions will be shared on MCHA’s social media platforms.

“By sharing the thoughts and situations of our neighbors in Monmouth County we are hoping to provide an avenue of personal connection in this time of necessary isolation,” MCHA Executive Director Meg Sharp Walton said. “Plus, while adhering to social distancing guidelines, MCHA will be able to remotely continue to grow our recently inaugurated oral history project.”

MCHA President Linda Bricker added, “I am proud that MCHA is once again providing an innovative means to gather and share first-person information from our county friends and neighbors, that began with the exhibit ‘Tracking Sandy.’ The archive being created now will help generations to come understand the emotions, challenges and triumphs encompassed in this momentous event.”

The “Remembering COVID-19” questionnaires are available at MonmouthHistory.org/covid19.