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Collecting in Quarantine

Marylanders are living through a unique moment in history, and our stories and images from this time need to be captured. Future generations may look back and wonder what life was like in our state during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Center for History and Culture has launched an initiative called Collecting in Quarantine and we invite you to participate.

How is the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic impacting your life? Follow the instructions below to submit your stories (written, video, or audio) and photographs and to learn more about how to donate physical materials. Help us document history in the making.

Image courtesy of Collecting in Quarantine contributor Michael Lisicky depicting himself and his pup in an empty Fells Point, Baltimore, April 2020.

Letters from the Homefront

Personal accounts are some of the most powerful tools we have in understanding historic events in Maryland. Letters, diaries, and photographs of important moments in Maryland history, including the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Spanish flu of 1918 and the Annapolis yellow fever epidemics of 1793 and 1800, help to provide glimpses of life during these times. Now, MCHC is calling on Marylanders to send their personal stories of how the pandemic is impacting their lives. Your story is unique, important, and evolving. Please consider sharing now and at various points through your experience. We are looking for photographs, written accounts, video or audio, including oral history. Submit your materials here or email submissions to

Stories will be shared on our underbelly blog and on our social media pages using the hashtags #LettersFromtheHomeFrontMD and #CollectingInQuarantineMD.

Business Unusual

During the pandemic, business has been anything but usual.

MCHC is asking business employees, owners, customers, passers-by and neighborhood residents to visually share their experiences. MCHC will create a photo essay illustrating the industrial spirit of Marylanders during this critical time. Submit photos and stories here or email submissions to 

Submissions will be shared on our underbelly blog and on our social media pages using the hashtags #BusinessUnusualMD and  #CollectingInQuarantineMD.

Physical Donations

In addition to digital submissions, we’re also collecting physical materials. Do you have everyday materials or objects that may help to tell the story of this time? Or handwritten letters or a journal that you’d like to consider for archiving?

For physical materials, please complete one of our donation inquiry/object history forms below.

Form for museum objects and materials
Form for library materials (paper/print)

Thinking of Contributing? Things to Know:

  • Please only submit your own original content.
  • If you don’t use the contribution form and instead submit your material by email, MCHC staff will follow up regarding permissions.
  • We hope to collect and share contributions from Marylanders of all ages. If you are under 18, please know that we will need permission from your parent/guardian.
  • We are very excited to be partnering with the Baltimore Sun to share a selection of materials collected through this project. By contributing, your materials may be shared and published by the Sun, online or in print. The Sun is also contributing a selection of its own pandemic-related submissions back to us. Please note that, while MCHC will respect contributors’ wishes to be identified as they wish, the Sun will only consider contributions accompanied by a first and last name. 
  • Because this is a public health crisis, there may be personal health information conveyed in your contributions. Please be aware of the privacy concerns of others and don’t share their names without their written consent. Health information such as diagnoses, treatment information, and medical test results are considered protected health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If you do provide any such information, your submission must be made anonymous.

Some of MCHC’s submissions to the Collecting in Quarantine initiative will become part of future collections. One hundred years from now, present-day essays and photographs will grant historical perspective for the next challenge to the nation.

MCHC invites you to be a champion of history and participate in this collective work to preserve the Maryland experience.