2020 Coronavirus Pandemic


2020 Coronavirus Pandemic


MHGS has started to archive materials related to the coronavirus pandemic in Sedgwick County.

Here are my thoughts on how this will work:
Strictly, ruthlessly focused on Sedgwick County.  Even this is probably too big, but we'll see.

Newspaper -- I'm going to assume that the Wichita Eagle digital archive will be available in the future, and will not attempt to save Eagle articles
Facebook -- I'm only preserving things that relate directly to Sedgwick County (like ad images for special takeout menus). Although it might be fascinating for future researchers, I don't see any realistic way to preserve things like the comments on a post.
Radio and TV -- I don't know what to do about these.  In many cases, they are either reporting on the same things the paper is, or the story is based on an underlying source, like a press release, which I have been able to find and archive.  I am open to ideas here!
Websites -- This is where I'm getting the bulk of my material so far.  Many organizations have created COVID-19 pages, and I will be taking periodic snapshots of these, as well as downloading any relevant supporting documents.
Photographs -- We need more images!  I'd like pictures of interesting signs, people, and places that show the impact of the pandemic or the stay-at-home order.

I am generating a list of bookmarked websites as I discover new pages. At least once per week, I return to each bookmarked website to see if anything has changed.
As to the dates on items -- the date on a website item is the date I looked at it, and not necessarily the date it changed. The date on, say, a press release, is the date on the release, not the date I found it. In general, if something has a date, I use it, otherwise, I use the date on which I archived it.
Webpages -- I am using Chrome's "Print to PDF" to create PDF files from individual web pages.  I investigated fancier web archiving techniques, but decided on the fast and simple approach, both to let me work quickly now, and also to simplify future archive maintenance and access.  These PDFs don't preserve the exact layout of a website, but they do get all the text and most of the images (those carousel things where several images rotate automatically don't get captured.)
Video -- I've found a little program that enables me to download YouTube and Facebook videos, so I am cautiously beginning to add those.  They are real space hogs, so I'm trying to be judicious.  The funny one from Cowtown was a no-brainer, of course.
Documents -- So far, all the documents I've found are either PDF or DOCX, so I'm keeping them in their original format.  If something odd comes up, I'll try to convert to PDF.
Images -- As with documents, I'm keeping these in their original formats.

Negative Results
I've been collecting both passively, grabbing things as they get mentioned, and actively, searching for Wichita's major employers, retailers, churches, suburbs, etc. If I find something, I add it to the archive. I can't, however, add things to the archive that I don't find. So, here's a list of places I looked, but didn't find anything specific to both Sedgwick County and the Coronavirus. This, of course, doesn't mean they didn't do or publish anything, just that I didn't find it through a public website. Cessna, for example, probably has an employees-only site I couldn't access.
LDS Church
Jehovah's Witness Church

Currently, only the photographs in the archive are publicly available. I don't want there to be any chance that someone doing a Google search for, say,  information from the Wichita Public Schools, might accidentally land on one of our archived web pages and miss the latest information on their page.  Once the pandemic has passed, we can open the archive for research.


Julia Langel

Items in the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic Collection

Menards "No Children Under 16" Sign
Sign announcing a new policy at Menards

Sign Closing School Playground
Photograph of a sign closing a school playground during the coronavirus pandemic

Horace Mann Sign
Photograph of a school sign during the coronavirus pandemic

Wichita Art Museum Closed Sign
Sign in the doorway of the Wichita Art Museum

Signs in a College Hill Yard
Photograph of homemade signs in a residential neighborhood

Sign at a Long Term Care Facility
Photograph of a sign at a memory-care facility

Sydney's Pet Resort Door Signs
Photograph of the signs on the door of a pet boarding and grooming business

Carryout Order System at Meddy's Restaurant
Photograph of the system for managing cars picking up food orders at a restaurant

Heroes Work Here Sign at Fresenius Kidney Care
Photograph of a sign at a kidney dialysis center

Felipe's Restaurant Mixed Drink Carryout
Photograph of a carryout margarita from Felipe's restaurant