Empty store shelves, restaurants and stores closed, students learning at home — these are unprecedented times, history in the making. And the Huntingdon County Historical Society wants the public’s help documenting it.

“I think someday people will look back on thee events and see how different things were and how everything was shut down,” said historical society director Margaret Skrivseth, who is seeking photos and stories related to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a Coronavirus Collection.

“A few months ago, I couldn’t have imagined everything would be closed down the way it is,” she said.

Skrivseth is asking the public to submit photos and stories with hopes they’ll someday be part of an exhibit.

“We hope to create a collection at the society and maybe in a year or two, depending on how much we get, we’d like to do an exhibit,” she said.

It was history itself that gave Skrivseth the idea for the project.

“The idea came about after someone called and asked what happened during the 1918 pandemic and we didn’t have any information,” she said. “It got us thinking that a Coronavirus Collection will help us tell future generations about the impact this had on Huntingdon County.”

And with technology at folks’ fingertips, Skrivseth is hoping it will be easy for folks to share their memories.

“They could be photos of empty store shelves or a restaurant’s doors closed,” she said. “Anything that shows what it’s been like to deal with this pandemic.”

Photos and stories can be emailed to the society at hchsmail@gmail.com. They should include information such as where the photo was taken, the date, what it is and who is pictured in the photo. Skrivseth also asks that folks include their name, email address and phone number with their submissions.

Skrivseth said the Coronavirus Collection provides residents of the county with a unique opportunity.

“We often hear historical records from the point of view of prominent people, famous people,” she said. “Everyday people aren’t usually represented and this is a good way for everyone to have their voices heard.”

For more information on the Coronavirus Collection or to participate, call Skrivseth at 643-5449.

Becky can be reached at bweikert@huntingdondailynews.com.

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