History Museum Asks Community to Share COVID-19 Experiences

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LOS ALTOS, CA (April 7, 2020) To document the impact of COVID-19 on the community, Los Altos History Museum is seeking stories, photos, diary entries, and other materials from residents of Santa Clara County. The material and online submissions will be archived for the Museum’s permanent collection, and preserved for future historians, researchers and visitors.

“We want to hear how you and your loved ones are experiencing this extraordinary event—how has it disrupted your lives? How are you getting through it? How have everyday routines changed in your household?” said Dr. Amy Ellison, Exhibition Curator. “Our grandkids and great grandkids will wonder what life was like during this pandemic.”

The Los Altos History Museum has in its collection over 8,000 photographs, 6,000 artifacts, many cubic feet of archival material including newspapers, deeds, maps, and documents, and over 200 oral histories of local residents. These materials have been collected over the last 50 years, and the Museum still actively collects.

“Documenting history in the making is one of the responsibilities of museums. Collecting and preserving stories about COVID-19 is our way of honoring the people in our community and helping to facilitate healing, while also providing valuable insights to future generations,” said Ellison.

The deadline to submit to this collection is open-ended, as the Museum wants to allow time for individuals to process their thoughts. For updates on the project, the public is encouraged to follow the Museum on social media, or sign up for its e-newsletter via its website homepage.

To learn more, and to contribute to the collection, visit the Museum website at losaltoshistory.org/ShareCovid-19stories

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit: www.losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact: Marketing@losaltoshistory.org

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org

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