Skip to content

You can contribute to library's pandemic digital time capsule

'This is a unique opportunity for Newmarket residents to become not just witnesses to history in the making but reporters as well,” says library technician
together in isolation covid 19 pic
Supplied photo/Newmarket Public Library

All of us are participating in a momentous historic event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve never experienced anything like it in our lifetime. It’s certainly a time none of us will forget.

It is also a time for us to take the opportunity to record for posterity what we’re experiencing.

Newmarket Public Library has created Together In Isolation COVID-19, an online archive that will become a permanent part of the library’s Digital History Collection. You can help contribute to this digital time capsule by sharing a picture (JPEG, GIF or PNG) with your comments or a story about your personal experiences.

“This is a unique opportunity for Newmarket residents to become not just witnesses to history in the making but reporters as well,” says Angele Barnett, the library technician in charge of the project. “We can all contribute to this historical snapshot of our town during the crisis, something we can look back on and that future generations will be able to view.” 

When taking a photo, adding the names of neighbourhoods, streets, and other public places will provide details that future historians will appreciate, notes Barnett, who also oversees the library’s genealogy resources. “It’s good to have reference points for photos since the Town is constantly evolving, and there are always ongoing changes being made.”

If you’re wondering what to contribute, there are no real guidelines. And it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom. As in any crisis, there are the inspiring sights that lift the spirits and instill hope.

It can be what you see in your neighbourhood, in public spaces, or at home. Sign closures, social distancing lineups, or frontline workers taking a break. Maybe it’s a snapshot that conveys the joys or frustrations of working from home, or the kids doing distance learning. Perhaps it’s the uplifting signs of community support like the stuffie bear hunts for kids, or sidewalk chalk messages of hope from youngsters. Or it could be the creative things you’ve been doing at home while in self isolation. It can be whatever you think captures life in Newmarket right now as you’re experiencing it.

All submissions will be reviewed and edited before being made public on the Together In Isolation webpage.

History is happening now, and this is our moment in time. We have an opportunity to create a first-hand look at how events are unfolding in our Town. You can take part in recording history by making a submission to Together In Isolation at (look for Together in Isolation (COVID-19) in the Options column on the left).

— Contributed by Lorne Chase, marketing and communications coordinator at Newmarket Public Library. Visit the library’s website at