Help create a COVID-19 time capsule with the City of Cambridge

Posted on Tuesday June 02, 2020

The City of Cambridge is calling on the entire community to participate in a new initiative that will capture a unique snapshot in time. Cambridge 2020: Local History of a Pandemic is an archive project to help collect personal experiences of living, working and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic from residents, business owners, first responders, cultural groups and organizations.

“We have all been in this together, and now we’re asking the Cambridge community to help us make a collective history that can be passed down for future generations,” said City of Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry. “It’s really important to record and preserve what’s going on in Cambridge right now. This is our opportunity to encapsulate how Cambridge responded and continues to adapt to a global crisis.”

Participating will take just a few minutes of time but will become part of our archival collection. Throughout history, people have gone through experiences that have greatly impacted everyday life and shaped the future. The City is asking the Cambridge community to come together to capture this period in time.

What we’re looking for

We would like the project to represent the experiences of many different people and sectors across the community.  Submissions can include written accounts, photos, drawings, and even audio and video recordings - whatever has been a significant experience for you.

We will collect digital mementoes from individuals and groups as long as the pandemic continues.

How to submit

Visit to submit your mementoes electronically. Anyone submitting will be asked to provide consent for their items to be collected and shared through future displays.

Your current thoughts and feelings about the pandemic are also welcome and can be shared through the engageCambridge project page.

For more information on how you can participate in this Cambridge time capsule, visit

- 30 -

Primary media contact

Susanne Hiller
Director of Communications
City of Cambridge


Types of digital items to submit for this project

Please send us anything that captures this period in time, such as:

  • a photo of home life, working or online school
  • a video of an online gathering or milestone celebrations
  • a screenshot of a twitter post
  • photos of closed signs or other signs in the community that show things have changed
  • images depicting social distancing measures
  • how local businesses have adapted to COVID19, or an email from a thankful customer
  • journal or blog entries, or personal reflections
  • photos of people wearing masks
  • struggles of those sick with the virus
  • window art
  • a curbside gift from a relative
  • stories and photos of hope and positivity


Related community projects:

  • The IDEA Exchange is inviting the community to submit creative work related to the local experience of COVID-19 for their online periodical Alone Together: A Cambridge Quaranzine. The next issue is accepting content until Sunday, June 7, and the subject is “Looking to the Helpers” which aims to collect stories of local Cambridge heroes during the pandemic.
  • The Waterloo Region Museums are collecting hard copy archives for their Help us make history project. If you are submitting a piece to the museums, consider scanning and also submitting electronically to the City through our engageCambridge project page.