Amsterdam City Archives open digital archive on coronavirus

During the coronavirus crisis museum and archive professionals do not rest on their laurels. Amsterdam City Archives is helping to build a digital archive of the coronavirus and its consequences in the Netherlands with other heritage institutions in the country.

"Our entire country and the rest of the world are turned upside down. The coronavirus affects us all and currently controls the news. The first concern is, of course, the health of everyone and the measures to contain the spread of the virus. But history is also written".

"Most Dutch people will remember this exceptional period for a long time: the closure of schools, shops, catering establishments, institutions, the mass of working from home and teaching at home, but also social cohesion. More than before, people and organizations communicate via various digital channels. Never in history have we been so dependent on digital resources and online information. We must capture this memory together and keep it alive for the future.

Almost all communication during the coronavirus in the Netherlands is via digital media, such as websites, Facebook pages, tweets, chats, online diaries, YouTube channels, memes and digital photos. These sources seem to have an eternal digital life, but they are very vulnerable. If we don't record this, these messages and images will be the first to disappear when the crisis is over. By preserving them permanently and making them accessible, we can keep the memories alive. At the moment, a number of heritage institutions in the Netherlands are already working on collecting and storing sources related to the coronavirus. In addition, the organizations strive for a "Coronavirus collection": the digital story of the coronavirus in the Netherlands at their local or regional level. The Amsterdam City Archives, like other organizations, uses “hotspot lists”, lists with which events and issues can be selected that have a major impact on society.

The Amsterdam City Archives is one of the most beautiful institutions in the world. It's worth taking a peep: