Collecting the Evidence on Covid-19: Exchange of Experience



On 25 October 2022, Pauls Stradiņš Medicine History Museum is hosting a seminar entitled ‘Collecting the Evidence on Covid-19: Exchange of Experience’. During the seminar speakers from Latvian heritage and research institutions and the public media will share their experience of incorporating records of the pandemic years into their collections and archives, with the museum scene as the most extensively represented of all areas.    

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global ecology, economy, social life, health, work organization, education, science, culture, and other areas is still subject to ongoing research. And yet empirically it can already be claimed that there is evidence of substantial changes. Since the first signs of the virus outbreak in late 2019 until recently, when the focus of attention shifted toward global geopolitical events, both the public and personal spaces have not escaped dealing with the resulting trends. 

The types of records and testimonies that will be preserved from the pandemic time largely depend on the actions taken ‘here and now’ by the public media, archives, museums and research institutions. In keeping with the Law on Archives, public administration records of permanent retention are stored at the National Archives of Latvia; public media are the first to report on implementation of policies and their effect on the everyday life of people. The mission of museums and other research institutions, on the other hand, is collecting various objects and stories, representing the interests of a range of social groups as extensive and diverse as possible.  

In the course of our seminar, we will look for answers to the following questions: What evidence has been collected to date? What are the subjects, areas, social groups and regions represented in this collection? How varied and multi-voiced is the body of collected materials and how well-coordinated is the process of collecting? 

The decisions introduced to fight the pandemic created tension in public opinion, leading to the division of society. In the final discussion of the seminar, we will focus on the question of whether the polarization of society is reflected in the settings and results of the collecting the evidence on Covid-19. Participants of the discussion: Arnis Kaktiņš, The research centre SKDS; Ilze Ļaksa-Timinska, Institute of Literature, Folklore and Art; Anita Meinarte, National History Museum of Latvia; Dagnija Neimane-Vēvere, Public broadcasting of Latvia. Discussion moderators: Kaspars Vanags and Daina Auziņa, Pauls Stradiņš Medicine History Museum.

The seminar programme (in Latvian)

A photograph of two hospital beds with the text C-19 above them


We want to get to know our visitor better, to create content tailored for you – will you accept cookies?