The Oregon Historical Society, like the Portland Art Museum and OMSI, had to close its doors for the time being.
But, it has started a cool project to reach out to Oregonians to document their current struggles during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
"How do we stay connected and rooted in community while practicing social distancing?" the Historical Society asked in a news release. "What is the role of cultural institutions during this unprecedented time?"
The historical society is asking people to share their stories — personal reflections on living through this pandemic. In a period of isolation from family and friends, what stories of Oregonians from the past or present give you courage? What is a normal day for you? What have you learned about yourself, family and friends?
Community members are invited to share their stories through a letter submitted through an online form or by mailing a handwritten note to the OHS Research Library, 1200 S.W. Park Ave., Portland, 97205. Submissions must include the author's full name, location (city, town or reservation) and the date.
"Some of the most priceless treasures in the Oregon Historical Society collections are the handwritten diaries and journals of individuals who made their way across the Oregon Trail. As we persevere through this new uncharted trail, we invite Oregonians to document their thoughts and experiences and to share them with OHS, so we, in turn, can share them with future generations," said Kerry Tymchuk, Oregon Historical Society executive director.
OHS is encourage folks to write a handwritten note to add to the OHS Research Library, which has collected letters, journals, scrapbooks and photographs that students, educators, researchers, authors, filmmakers and more use to discover stories of the past.
It'll add some of the submissions to the OHS Research Library.
In the coming days, OHS will be reaching out with more resources for learning at home, including inviting students in grades six through 12 to participate in a virtual Oregon History Day contest later in the spring.
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