Documenting This Time in History

Documenting #Pandemic2020Jax

How can we, as a community, document this unprecedented time in history? Two local organizations are giving us a gift that we will be able to give to generations to come.

“A little more than a century ago, Jacksonville citizens faced loss in many ways from a series of events that were documented, for the most part, by news reporters and photographers, along with diaries and journals by citizens. The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1888 (in which St. Luke’s Hospital played a healing role)… the Great Fire of 1901 (which stopped short of St. Luke’s Hospital) … the Great War (which came to be known as World War I) … and the Spanish Flu (also called the 1918 Flu Pandemic) all were dramatic events that could have brought our great city to its knees. Today we face a similar life-as-we-know-it-altering situation. How will we tell this story for future generations?” Quoted from Jacksonville Historical Society.

The Jacksonville Historical Society and the Beaches Museum are collecting information from the community so we will be able to tell the story to those coming
​after us.

During this time, the Jacksonville Historical Society will be accepting community submissions of documentary material or creative works chronicling the local pandemic experience. Submissions should express how your life has changed and what it is like living during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Old St. Luke’s Hospital

Below are some suggested ways to participate:

• Donate physical or digital material documenting your experience during the coronavirus pandemic. Examples include submissions of videos, typed or handwritten diaries, journals, essays, artwork, poems, music or photographs.
• When posting to social media, please use the hashtag #Pandemic2020Jax to contribute to this project.
• Children can also have fun documenting the pandemic with this COVID-19 Time Capsule. It’s something for your own family to enjoy using as you create memories of a time when you sheltered in place.

Future historians need to hear from you! They will want to know what was the local, lived experience of a global pandemic from day to day and week to week. Your perspective is significant and urgently needed. For those interested in contributing their voice to this community legacy, please consider donating now.

If you have any questions about accepted donations, please email at [email protected].

Image from Tampa Bay Times. Spanish Flu of 1918.

The mission of the Beaches Museum is to “preserve and share the distinct history and culture of the Beaches area.” … We are living tomorrow’s history right now!”

The museum is asking the Beaches community to help gather information, photos, physical items and first-hand accounts of how you, your family, your business and your community are being impacted. Anything from photos of closed businesses to stories of neighbors helping neighbors will help us compile a thorough accounting of how the Beaches weathered this crisis.

Submissions to our historic record can be sent to [email protected].

We can’t thank these organizations enough for their forethought and execution to document our community, during these most unusual and uncertain times.

You can learn more about the Jacksonville Historical Society project at: