Historic Vienna Looks to Preserve Community’s COVID-19 Memories

The Oral History Committee of Historic Vienna, Inc. is documenting residents’ memories of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee is asking town residents and businesses to submit representations of the way they were affected by, coped with, or reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stories can explore anything “you think is important to be remembered about this unprecedented time in history,” according to the “COVID Impressions” project webpage.

Possible topics include experiences with unemployment or virtual schools and the impact of the pandemic on relationships with friends or pets. Submissions can take the form of different mediums, including a short text description, a photograph, a poem, or a piece of art.

The collection will be presented on the Historic Vienna, Inc. website and preserved in the archives.

“Together the reflections we gather will capture a variety of our Vienna residents’ experiences,” the committee says.

For their submissions to be accepted, residents must fill out a release form. Submissions may be anonymous if desired but the release form still needs to be submitted.

Historic Vienna, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to preserving the Town of Vienna’s history by hosting public events, supporting the preservation of historic properties, and operating the Freeman Store and Museum, which is currently open during limited hours with strict health protocols in place.

According to its “Vienna Stories” website, Historic Vienna has been preserving local history through recorded interviews since it was established in 1976. Most recently, it launched a new initiative to collect oral histories from longtime area residents in 2013.

Transcripts and videos can be found on the nonprofit’s blog and YouTube channel.

Submissions for the COVID-19 stories exhibit and the accompanying release form can be sent to the oral history committee at [email protected].

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

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