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Isolating Together: A Public Archive

Marquee of the State Theater

Marquee at the State Theater, Portland by Abraham S. May 14, 2020

Isolating Together is Portland Public Library’s digital archive of stories from you, our community members, about how COVID-19 is impacting your lives at this moment.

We invite you to browse this archive and also to contribute to it and explain or show how you are living with the present social distancing measures. Sharing our stories will preserve them for the future and also allow us to remain socially connected.

 

Browse the Isolating Together Archive

Greater Portland is a vibrant region, filled with creative and adventurous individuals. As a community, we are integral to one another, and the Library is integral to our community. Click through the gallery to see how Portland is Isolating Together.

Esch illustration

Illustration by Jessica Esch. Submitted April, 2020.

distance learning student with mask

Distance learning from his home on Peaks Island April 2020. Abbott K. age 8. Submitted July 30, 2020.

Contribute to the Isolating Together Archive

How are you weathering the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic? Contribute your thoughts, poetry, letters, diary entries, original artwork, doodles or comics to this online archive. Archives provide future generations a richer view of history, first-person documentation of our times and lives. This is an opportunity to document our own histories for future historians and social scientists trying to make sense of it a hundred years from now!

Need help getting started? Try working with some of these prompts:

  • Are your morning routines different now than they were back in March? How so?
  • As you find ways to stay motivated during these times, write about a “theme song” or a personal motto that is with you through this- and write about its importance to you.
  • What gets you laughing these days?
  • How have your reading, or listening, or viewing habits / tastes changed since mid-March?

Your submission will be published on our Omeka site, and preserved for future researchers. We may also share on our library social media. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

About the Isolating Together Archive

Created April, 2020 by our Archivist Abraham who was inspired by an ongoing popular Covid-19 blog project (the Boston Globe’s “Postcards from the Pandemic”), Isolating Together is now part of a network of Maine libraries – along with many kindred archival collecting efforts across the country. Thanks in part to Federal CARES Act funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Maine State Library was able to purchase the Omeka platform for libraries across Maine to host and publish submissions to their own local Covid archives for future preservation.

If you would like more information about the Isolating Together project, please reach out to us at isolatingtogether@portlib.org.