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Arlington’s COVID-19 Time Capsule Project Needs Donations

When future Arlingtonians look back at last year, what are some items that will tell the story?

The Center for Local History at the Arlington Public Library is curating a time capsule of 2020. The project is titled, 2020 Unboxed, and will contain objects representing life in Arlington during the momentous year.

The themes for the collection include:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic
  • Racial justice and civic unrest
  • Arlington County’s naming centennial
  • The 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage
  • The 2020 Census

“The time capsule is a snapshot of today as well as a gift for the future, preserving an account of a particular period in time,” said library director Diane Kresh, in a press release.

The Center for Local History will be reaching out to community organizations and leaders to collect items for the project, but residents are encouraged to donate objects that demonstrate how life in Arlington was affected or altered by the pandemic as well.

Submissions can be made online or mailed to Arlington Public Library (P.O. Box 3655, Arlington, VA 22203). All submissions that are donated will not be returned.

The items will be collected for the next nine months, through September.

The time capsule collection will be exhibited online in October during American Archives Month. After the exhibit period ends the time capsule will be sealed and stored in the Arlington Community Archives for preservation and future research.

The library’s COVID-19 archives website has more information on the project.

Arlington is no stranger to time capsules, though sometimes a time capsule stays stored long enough that most people forget about it.

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