The State Archives are memory institutions that acquire, preserve and store historical testimonies and make them widely available in file reading rooms and online, including the Search in the Archives website. We understood right at the beginning of the pandemic that we were experiencing an important moment in history and that we must document it for the sake of future generations.
The campaign “Archives of the Pandemic A.D. 2020. A social collection of documents from the time of the pandemic caused by the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)” was announced in April 2020. Just six months into the campaign, we had already collected around 6,500 testimonies of the pandemic.
The participants shared their experiences and reflections in the form of traditional and electronic documentation. Notes, memos, diaries, journal, leaflets, photographs, memes, blogs, vlogs, audio and video recordings, other media forms and material published on websites are all valuable sources documenting the epidemic in Poland, in our immediate environment, in everyday, social, cultural and professional life.
The campaign has made it possible to create a unique collection of documentation from “the time of the plague” with contributions from the entire society. The collection documents an experience without precedent in Poland’s recent history and shows its effects in both private and institutional dimensions. In the future, the donated materials will be made available on the Search in the Archives website for everyone to browse online.
The campaign is still underway and more evidence of the pandemic is still being collected in the State Archives.