The Museums on the Green, owned and operated by the Falmouth Historical Society, is currently seeking submissions for its “COVID-19 Archives.” Individuals, businesses and groups are invited to submit journals, essays, poems, photographs, songs, videos and other items that illustrate life in Falmouth during the 2020 pandemic.
“Think about it. Today’s high school students weren’t around on 9/11. They have no firsthand understanding of the unprecedented attacks on this country or the agonizing aftermath,” said Mark Schmidt, the museums’ executive director. “And, even more people have only a secondary connection—a parent or grandparent—to the great, global Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918. But, because people have chronicled events and others have preserved them, we have been able to pass our history down to the next generations.”
Mr. Schmidt said the museums have several interesting items related to Falmouth and the Spanish Influenza pandemic in its archives, including a series of town government ledgers titled “Record of Diseases Dangerous to the Public Health” (1915 to 1924). Column headers list the names of several contagious diseases that doctors were expected to report. In 1918 a town official wrote “Influenza” across the top of the “Other Diseases” column. Soon, the check marks under this column stretched across 23 pages.
Mr. Schmidt said the historical society has been dedicated to acquiring more oral histories from people who lived during significant events in the latter part of the 20th century.
“This 21st century crisis has certainly shifted our focus,” Mr. Schmidt said. “It will be written about in history books in every language in every country for years to come. Someday, I’d like future Falmouth residents to find very personal artifacts and accounts about this pivotal point in our lives at the Museums on the Green.”
Email contributions to the “COVID-19 Archives” at email@example.com or mail to: Museums on the Green, PO Box 174, Falmouth, MA 02541. Include name and contact information. All submissions will become part of the Falmouth Historical Society archives and may be used in programs, presentations and traditional or social media.