SHS organizing “Coronavirus Pandemic: A Photographic Portrait of Southborough”

by beth on May 18, 2020

Post image for SHS organizing “Coronavirus Pandemic: A Photographic Portrait of Southborough”

Above: It doesn’t seem as significant as turning Fayville Hall into a field hospital, but photos of toilet paperless shelves and other examples of living/working in Southborough this spring may be of interest to future historians and residents some day. It’s just one example of the photos and info that SHS is asking the public to help them preserve. (photo left cropped from photo by Charles Bagley*, right edited from pic by Joao Melo)

We all know that the strange days we’re living in are historic. The Southborough Historical Society is looking to “accurately preserve” the moment.

SHS asked me to share their call for photos and experiences:

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in Southborough in many different ways and each of us is an eyewitness to this important time in our history. The Southborough Historical Society hopes to accurately preserve this moment in time by launching “Coronavirus Pandemic: A Photographic Portrait of Southborough.”

The goal is to preserve images of our daily lives during this crisis and to provide future historians, researchers and students with information on life in our community during this pandemic and how it affected our daily lives.

And, we need everyone’s help. SHS is seeking photographs that demonstrate the impact of coronavirus and COVID-19 on Southborough and its residents.

Are you keeping a COVID-19 journal? Have you taken a porch portrait of your family? Do you work on the front lines of the pandemic response or are deemed an essential worker? In what ways have you seen our community unite? Have you been personally affected by the illness or repercussions of the economic fallout? How does homeschooling and social distancing affect your children and their lives? Have you seen empty store shelves and other images symbolic of how things have changed? We encourage you to share photographs of pandemic experiences in the context of your daily lives.

It is a time when face masks, closed business, and working from home has become our new normal. For many of us, this may be the most historical moment of our lives and we need to preserve and archive this for posterity. By recording how the virus has changed our daily life, we will ensure the stories are available to provide valuable insight for future generations. Each contribution will help ensure evidence of this time for future research, reference and exhibits.

The Southborough Historical Society is dedicated to discovering and safekeeping the stories of our community. Archived within our collections and entrusted to our care are stories of family, growth and perseverance. As we navigate through these difficult times, we must continue to collect and ensure that these experiences in our community are preserved for later generations.

Please provide as many photographs as you feel are important. Go to https://southboroughhistory.org/photos/ to upload your photos. A gallery of images will be available in the coming weeks.

Please include with your photograph a short description, as well as date and location the picture(s) was taken and identify any people clearly visible. If you would prefer to send images directly through email, or have any questions, concerns, or thoughts about this project, please send an email to photos@southboroughhistory.org

The SHS website further discloses:

By submitting to the Southborough Historical Society collection, you are agreeing to the terms within this disclaimer document.

All submissions will be moderated before being made available publicly. The Southborough Historical Society reserves the right to not accept a submission should it not fit the theme and intent of the Coronavirus Pandemic: A Portrait of Southborough project, per the discretion of SHS staff.

Earlier this spring, a former resident (Paul Redmond) shared his grandfather’s photos from the 1918 flu pandemic in Southborough. Click here for the gallery.

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