News & Politics

Help DC Public Library “Archive This Moment” With Your Zoom Screenshots, Quarantine Diaries, and More

The participatory archive project aims to document life in DC during Covid-19.

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About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

If you’ve been taking face-mask selfies and Zoom screenshots, DC Public Library may want to keep one for its new archive documenting life in DC during the Covid-19 quarantine. The “Archive This Moment” initiative asks Washingtonians to submit all types of media (including social) that illustrate how our lives around DC have changed.

“We’re charged with documenting the history and culture of DC,” says Kerrie Williams, director of the library’s special collections department. “Part of that mission is taking into account where we are now.”

This is the first time DCPL is asking for community submissions to build an active archive. Participatory archiving “makes for a more comprehensive and diverse narrative, which is often times lacking,” says Williams.

Submissions can be anything from photos of coronavirus-themed sidewalk chalk to videos of a city block applauding hospital workers. Williams hopes Washingtonians will also submit more personal artifacts like diary entries. These snippets of every day life could be crucial to anyone trying to paint a picture of our reality in the future.

“At the very core of [it’s] for people to have a voice and to be able to document that voice on their own terms,” says Williams.

To contribute to the archieve, use #archivethismomentdc on public social media accounts or email submissions to the the library at

Rosa is a senior editor at Bitch Magazine. She’s written for Washingtonian and Smithsonian magazine.