About the Boston Collection

The Boston Collection focuses on the experiences of people living and working in Greater Boston during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis. As we work to preserve a public record of this time, we invite users to share stories, pictures, documents, and other material that illuminates how life has changed as a result of the pandemic.

What should you contribute? Anything you think might be of interest or use to future historians. What do you think best captures the impact of the pandemic on Boston’s neighborhoods, cultural institutions, universities, hospitals, and residents? We want to preserve the extraordinary moments, but also whatever ordinary objects and stories best represent the diversity of Bostonians’ daily experiences during this historical event.

Led by faculty, staff and students at Northeastern University and Suffolk University, the Boston Collection branch of the Journal of the Plague Year project is a trans-institutional collaboration. For more information about how to get involved, please contact a member of our team. For specific information about the larger project, visit the Journal of the Plague Year main website.

The Boston Collection is part of the broader Journal of the Plague Year digital archive. Inspired by Daniel Defoe’s novel of the same name, this archive also seeks to chronicle daily life during a pandemic. A Journal of the Plague Year was initiated by Catherine O'Donnell, Richard Amesbury, and Mark Tebeau in the School for Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. The Journal of the Plague Year is supported financially by the public history endowment at Arizona State University, a fund endowed by Noel Stowe. The Boston Collection is supported by Northeastern University's College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Recent Additions to the Collection

  • Coronavirus, Climate Change, and the Environment

    In this article, Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Director of Harvard Chan C-CHANGE, answers questions about how climate change and COVID-19 are related. He discusses the problems that animal agriculture causes for both the environment and human health. Hopefully, more people will hear the words of a world-renowned scientist and make the change to veganism like I did 4 years ago.
  • Not Expecting the Reality

    Coming to Phillips Academy Andover Summer Session during the quarantine phase of the school helped me notice a positive thing Covid had brought at the boarding school. Along with a funny story to help cheer everyone up.
  • This is a picture taken of a girl sitting in her room, wearing a face mask.

    Quarantine with the Breakfast Club

    I tried something new. And that’s not something that I do often. I pushed myself to go to boarding school… During a pandemic. I spent one (Covid safe) month at a boarding school and kept a journal every night for the first week. Here’s my experience of sweaty masks, making friends, and living in my dorm.
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