Recording the Great Pause

What Story Will Your COVID-19 Object Tell?


US Navy Officer’s uniform worn by Lieutenant Walter Raleigh Parker, Navy Medical Corps, from Northampton County. During World War I, Parker served in the US Navy and was assigned to Hampton Roads where he performed physicals and other health check on sailors and marines in the Norfolk area.  In 1918, he also faced the full brunt of the Spanish influenza outbreak.  

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The Museum of the Albemarle as a part of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources promotes the understanding of history and material culture primarily of the Albemarle Region in which it is located and secondarily for the state of North Carolina for the educational benefit of all people. Through regional collections, historical interpretation, and professional assistance, the museum encourages citizens and visitors to explore and understand the past; to reflect on their own lives and their place in history; and to preserve regional history for future generations.

 **We know that future visitors will want to learn about the many ways this life-altering, worldwide coronavirus outbreak affected North Carolinians. Joining our parent organization, the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, the Museum of the Albemarle is seeking artifacts that will allow us to document numerous aspects of the pandemic. Objects could include:

  • Items associated with individuals from northeastern North Carolina stricken with COVID-19
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE), including items manufactured in North Carolina.
  • Items associated with North Carolinians stricken with COVID-19.
  • Items associated with frontline “essential” workers, including medical personnel, store employees, delivery workers, transportation workers, and government employees.
  • Items related to COVID-19 medical research.
  • Items associated with life during “quarantine,” including objects interpreting the following: shortages, working from home, schooling from home, caring for family members, exploring new hobbies, dealing with isolation, and experiencing the positives and negatives of staying at home.
  • Items connected to altered “life-changing” experiences, including weddings, pregnancies and births, adoptions, and funerals.
  • Items associated with cancellations and closures faced by individuals, businesses, schools, nonprofits, and religious and cultural institutions.
  • Items related to workers who were furloughed or lost their jobs.
  • Items linked to coronavirus volunteer efforts.
  • Items associated with social distancing.

A few important notes:

We collect objects that help us tell larger stories. We can use digital photos and videos to assist in that storytelling, but we can only accept physical, 3D items into our collection.

  • For example, we might collect the props you used to film that COVID-19 video you posted online, or we might collect a social distancing sign from a local business (once it was no longer needed). But we would not collect the video without the props, or a digital image of the sign without the sign itself.

Items must have a strong connection to northeastern North Carolina to be accepted into our collection.

We can’t collect objects while we’re closed, so we’re asking individuals to save items that might make great artifacts. Feel free to record and submit information about your object now, so that we can get back in touch when we’re ready to collect.

To let us know about your potential artifact, please fill out the form below. If you are able, please also attach:

  • A digital image of your object.
  • Any supporting digital images showing the object in its original setting or use, or images of people using the object.
  • A short video in which you record yourself telling your personal COVID-19 story in connection to the artifact. (We may use these videos in future exhibits, so please keep your video to 1 minute or less in length.) 

Contact wanda.lassiter@ncdcr.gov with any questions.

Files must be less than 256 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png tif.
Files must be less than 256 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png tif.
Files must be less than 256 MB.
Allowed file types: avi mov mp3 wav mp4.