EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County is asking people to donate materials, or tell their stories, related to the coronavirus pandemic, as a way to preserve this moment in history.

Director of the Madison County Historical Museum Jon Parkin said that an historic event is taking place all around us right now, and he is asking people to share their stories, so it will be preserved for future generations. The museum is also looking for objects, and paper or digital items, that document the current crisis.

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“We want to include the heroic efforts of first responders, the plight of victims, the effects on businesses, schools, and cultural groups; and the creativity borne of isolation,” Parkin said.

The museum will collect paper memorabilia, like flyers, postcards, signs, emails, drawings, or anything that shows how county residents are handling the current situation. Other items the museum will accept include household objects that reflect life under quarantine.

“The different types of masks people are wearing or other objects will be accepted,” Parkin said. He added that donated masks should be clean, so as to prevent the spread of the virus.

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Parkin said the COVID-19 crisis will be written and spoken about by many generations to come. As record-keepers of local history, the Historical Museum is inviting residents to help document this event and share their stories

“We want to hear in your own words what you and your family are going through,” he said.

More information on how to donate items or paper and digital items for the museum’s collection visit the can visit the Edwardsville Public Library website at https://www.edwardsvillelibrary.org/teen-historian-challenge?.

“Although the website link is labeled Teen Historian Projects, submissions from ‘teenagers’ of all ages are encouraged, and will be accepted," Parkin said. “We want to hear from our residents, both young and old, who are living ‘history’.”

The museum is also asking residents who share photos and document personal experiences online during the pandemic, using the hashtag #CovidStoriesMadisonCountyIL.

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