Curating the contemporary: A case for national and local COVID-19 collections

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5 Citations (Scopus)


With its rapid spread, intensity, duration, global geographic reach and cross-sectorial disruption, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is so profound that it will become the focus of public exhibitions in the future. Now is the time is to collect examples of material culture associated with COVID-19. Some of the material is generic to healthcare, but some is specific to responses to COVID-19 in the medical and community sphere (e.g. social distancing). A substantive number of objects only exist in the digital sphere. Expanding on concepts initially developed for the collection of items associated with natural disasters and terrorist events, this paper (i) outlines the need for the establishment of local and national collections before items become too scarce and (ii) provides a sample multi-phase collections and collections management framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalCurator: the Museum journal
Issue number1
Early online date28 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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