CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — Whether it’s a picture of an empty storefront or what your family is doing to pass the time, the Cumberland County Historical Society wants to archive history as it happens during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cumberland County has a rich and well-documented history.
“But history is happening all the time and I think it’s important for us to be documenting things as they’re happening and while they’re fresh in people’s minds,” said Lindsay Varner, community outreach director for the Cumberland County Historical Society.
A typically busy downtown Carlisle is now quiet, as many stores are closed and restaurants are only open for take-out or delivery.
“I got one photo in the middle of High Street right after it started and it’s absolutely insane just how dead the street was,” Varner said.
Varner says the historical society is now looking for others to contribute pictures and videos too.
“It becomes part of our archival collection, so years from now when people are researching this, they’ll have this as something that they can use,” Varner said.
All the stories and images are shared on an interactive map online.
“Some of them are inspirational. Some of them are talking about how it’s impacting their business or their work life, but they’re great to see and they’re an amazing piece of our history,” Varner said.
Varner said so far, they’ve collected about 60 photos, from what a grocery store looks like, to parks, roped off with caution tape.
“15,20, 30 years from now, we’ll probably be capturing some oral histories, but we’ll at least have a baseline for a lot of that stuff now,” Varner said.
Anyone who wants to contribute can. You can snap a photo or video even on your phone.
“We can’t meet with people individually which is what we love to do,” Varner said. “We love to meet with people and to hear their story so this one way that we can do that from a socially safe distance.”
If you’d like to contribute to the project, you can email LVarner@historicalsociety.com.