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Documenting #Pandemic2020Jax

      A little more than a century ago, Jacksonville citizens faced loss in many ways from a series of events that were documented, for the most part, by news reporters and photographers, along with diaries and journals by citizens. The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1888 (in which St. Luke’s Hospital played a healing role)… the Great Fire of 1901 (which stopped short of St. Luke’s Hospital) … the Great War (which came to be known as World War I) … and the Spanish Flu (also called the 1918 Flu Pandemic) all were dramatic events that could have brought our great city to its knees. Today we face a similar life-as-we-know-it-altering situation. How will we tell this story for future generations?

      The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our lives, our communities, and our society is unprecedented in our lifetime. Our individual understanding and reactions to this rapidly developing global event changes daily, which is why it is so important that we act now to document our individual experiences.
      During this time, the Jacksonville Historical Society will be accepting community submissions of documentary material or creative works chronicling the local pandemic experience. Submissions should express how your life has changed and what it is like living during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Donate physical or digital material documenting your experience during the coronavirus pandemic. Examples include submissions of videos, typed or handwritten diaries, journals, essays, artwork, poems, music or photographs.
• When posting to social media, please use the hashtag #Pandemic2020Jax to contribute to this project.
• Children can also have fun documenting the pandemic with this COVID-19 Time Capsule. It’s something for your own family to enjoy using as you create memories of a time when you sheltered in place.
      Future historians need to hear from you! They will want to know what was the local, lived experience of a global pandemic from day to day and week to week. Your perspective is significant and urgently needed. For those interested in contributing their voice to this community legacy, please consider donating now.
      If you have any questions about accepted donations, please email us at

Mitch Hemann
Senior Archivist

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