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Indiana Historical Society asking Hoosiers to document how they are handling health crisis

Indiana Historical Society asking Hoosiers to help document how they are handling health crisis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) has been collecting items that document Indiana’s past since 1830.

The current health pandemic is the first time the museum is collecting documents during a moment in time.

“As historians we’re looking back 10, 15, and even 20 years because with historical perspective, you get a sense of something that is significant. So, this is new for us,” said Jody Blankenship, president and CEO of Indiana Historical Society.

So far the museum has collected more than 260 items from people all over the state.

“I think it was early March the virus was here in Indiana, it was here in the United States and it was starting to have a pretty big impact on businesses and on individuals. We felt like we had to start collecting at some point,” said Blankenship.

Examples of what to submit include writings, drawings, paintings, photos and videos. Anything that tells the story of what your new normal is.

People can submit their items via an online submission form, but the museum reminds everyone to take the time to fill it out with dates and explanations.

The whole point is to create a story so future generations can understand what experiencing the coronavirus crisis was like for people in Indiana.

Once items are collected, IHS researchers will begin to digitize and understand the submissions. No matter how small an item may seem, Blankenship says it’s important to share.

“Oftentimes, people will look at their own history and say it’s not history. Not everything in history has to be because you’re a general or a famous person,” said Blankenship.

The museum says collecting the stories of everyday people is sometimes harder, because those people think their story is too small.

“It’s not too small. It’s just as significant,” he said.