Collecting Today for Tomorrow: Documenting COVID-19 in Singapore
The global COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of us in Singapore. The National Library Board (NLB) is working on preserving these stories and experiences for future generations. NLB has been archiving websites, collecting photographs and ephemera relating to COVID-19. However, we need your help to create a fuller record of our day-to-day experiences.
We Want Your Contributions
NLB thanks members of the public who have sent in your contributions since the launch of our open call in end May 2020.
Explore our COVID-19 collections here:
NLB is inviting you to help us collect or document this important period. These can include videos, audio recordings, photographs, flyers, posters, blogs, journals and diaries. You may either submit materials of which you are the owner or creator, or nominate websites and content. In the case of the latter, NLB will reach out to the owner for permission to add the content to our national collection.
We are also keen to support organisations and communities with an interest in documenting COVID-19 or are already working on a similar project. Please get in touch via NLB_Document_Covid19@nlb.gov.sg
Please see the sections below for how to contribute digital content, journals and ephemera.
Contribute Your Digital Content
Submit your digital content.
Contributions of stories, photographs, videos and audio recordings in the following categories are welcome:
DAILY LIFE DURING COVID-19
Contributed by Poh Mee Kian
We hope to document what life during this pandemic and the circuit breaker period in Singapore has been like, and what home (in a physical or symbolic sense) means to you in a time of COVID-19:
- How has your routine changed? – from going to work or school, getting food and groceries, your exercise routine, pursuing your hobbies
- How did you spend time at home and stay connected with family and friends?
- What do celebrations and commemorations look like now – birthdays, anniversaries, school holidays, festivals?
- Looking around you, what changes have you observed in your neighbourhood, and for life in Singapore in general? How does this make you feel?
- What are some of the challenges that you have faced, or are facing? How have you overcome these challenges, or how are you currently dealing with them?
- What are the moments or stories that bring you happiness, hope and encouragement, even during this time of uncertainty?
- What do you miss, or not miss, about circuit breaker?
- How has the new normal been for you? What do you most look forward to?
EVERYDAY HEROES OF COVID-19
Contributed by Shyamala Thilagaratnam
We want to capture the stories and experiences of those at the frontlines of Singapore’s fight against COVID-19 and who are working to keep our essential services going. If your life has been touched by an everyday hero, or acts of kindness at this time, we would love to hear your stories as well. Everyday heroes include medical professionals, volunteers, social service professionals, essential service staff, as well as groups and individuals that have helped the community tide over this period.
- What does your life look like as a frontline or essential worker during this time, and how have you adapted to the changes?
- What have been some of the most difficult or memorable moments? How does this make you feel?
- What are the acts of kindness you have experienced, or shown during this time?
Please click here for Contribution Guidelines, Terms and Conditions
Nominate a Website
You can also nominate websites, webpages and blogs containing stories and information related to COVID-19 for web archiving. You can submit your nominations using this form.
Contribute Your Journal
Journals can provide a deeper and more personal understanding of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. We invite you to contribute your physical journal that will help future generations understand this period in our history. Get in touch with us at NLB_Document_Covid19@nlb.gov.sg.
If you wish to contribute only excerpts of your physical journal relevant to COVID-19, please consider typing them out and submitting them as stories.
Ephemera refer to leaflets, posters, pamphlets and brochures. NLB is looking for ephemera related to COVID-19 from local businesses and organisations, such as advisories on safe distancing and other measures, notices of changes in operating hours. You may have come across such materials when you were out for essential activities, or received them in your physical or digital mailboxes. Your company or organisation may have created such ephemera as well.
For printed ephemera (e.g. paper flyers), please fill up this form. Please set aside the material first and we will inform you when to mail or drop it off after the Library re-opens.
For born-digital ephemera (e.g. e-poster on a website), please nominate the URL for web archiving through this form.
Examples of ephemera:
Poster that reminds people to wear a mask
Poster that reminds people to stay at home
Poster on SafeEntry
Poster on SafeEntry
Please do not submit
- Materials that do not directly and clearly represent the impact of COVID-19, e.g. subject is abstract, blurred, taken in poor light, etc.
- Materials with identifiable person(s), including children, taken or submitted without their consent;
- Materials that may potentially cause distress or offence to others.
As part of NLB’s long term preservation efforts, submissions should preferably be in the following formats:
Uncompressed, high-resolution images in TIFF format with a minimal standard of 300 ppi. Photographs should be at least 3MB in size to ensure high-resolution images. If you are unsure about the specifications, simply share the image with the best resolution available.
Videos should be filmed in mp4 format and at least 720p resolution. Videos should not exceed 3 minutes or 250MB, and may need to be edited to meet these limits.
Audio recordings in mp3 format.
Terms and Conditions
When submitting your contribution, you will be asked to agree to the following:
1. I confirm that I am at least 18 years old and am freely sharing:
a) photographs I have personally taken;
b) videos I have personally recorded; and/or
c) text that I have written myself.
I understand that the photographs, videos and/or text are referred to as “Shared Memories” in the terms below.
2. I understand that I continue to own the rights to the Shared Memories and can continue to use them for any purposes and also to share them with others as I see fit.
3. I agree that the National Library Board (NLB) can do the following with the Shared Memories:
a) Archive it as part of the NLB’s permanent collections if so decided by NLB. I understand that NLB will not be able to archive all the Shared Memories that NLB receives so some, including mine, may not be retained by NLB.
b) Use it and allow others to use it for any purposes whatsoever and without limit as to time or place as decided by NLB.
c) The possible uses under sub-paragraph 3b) above include the following examples:
(i) the right of NLB or others to edit or adapt the Shared Memories as decided by NLB.
(ii) use in/on exhibitions, the internet and succeeding platforms, mobile applications, interactive kiosks, programmes, the production of books or merchandise or services that promote culture, history or learning.