On March 1 the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation1 launched the Global Social Responses to COVID-19 Web Archive. This Archive represents a collaboration of librarians from the Ivy Plus libraries with partners from the United States, Canada and two European libraries: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz and Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.
Created at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the Archive aims to document regional and social responses to the pandemic. This is crucial for understanding the impact the pandemic has had on every aspect of life today.
The Archive prioritizes “websites published by non-governmental organizations that focus on public health, humanitarian relief, and education; sites published by established and amateur artists in any realm of cultural production; sites published by local news sources; sites published by civil society actors and representatives; and relevant blogs and social media pages”.2
Currently it holds more than 2,000 websites from 80+ countries in more than 50 languages.
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek contributed to the part of the archive devoted to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union curated by Thomas Keenan (Princeton), Brendan Nieubuurt (University of Michigan), Anna Rakityanskaya (Harvard), and Lunja Jeschke (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek). It captures many different forms of socio-cultural responses to the pandemic across post-Soviet and post-socialist space.
What sort of websites are represented in the Archive? The Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union part of the Archive showcases websites of NGOs dedicated to helping the medical personnel; websites of different cultural organisations; free-of-charge theatrical productions that ask for donations to help front line workers; websites that capture artwork displayed in home windows; websites with religious ceremonies and rituals streamed via digital technology; social gatherings in cyber space; websites that capture works of caricature and satire; and websites that deny the existence of the pandemic, including conspiracy theories and resistance to proposed measures by governments.
As work on the collection continues, readers are welcome to report any websites they come across and find relevant to this email address.
The collection is available at https://archive-it.org/collections/14022.
When browsing the Archive, you can narrow down your search with keywords or limit it with filters (language, category, country, etc.). Do not forget to remove your filters before starting a new search.
For more information about the Global Social Responses to COVID-19 Web, please visit: https://libguides.princeton.edu/c.php?g=1110403&p=8094995.
1 The Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation is a partnership of 13 leading academic libraries in the United States. For more information, see https://ivpluslibraries.org/.