Q&A and Cocktails, a free virtual happy hour featuring talkbacks with experts from Rhode Island’s heritage, arts, culture, and business sectors, launches on Friday, May 1 at 5:30pm with the creators of the Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive.
Join Kate Wells, Curator of Rhode Island Collections at the Providence Public Library and Becca Bender, Film Archivist & Curator of Recorded Media at the Rhode Island Historical Society as they field questions on their work to launch the Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive, the process of its creation, the material they’ve received so far, and how to contribute.
The Rhode Island COVID-19 Archive project encourages all Rhode Islanders to document their experience during this historic moment and to contribute those items to this public archive.
Register to receive an invitation to this Zoom event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
RICovidArchive.org is accepting contributions from the public that document their lived experience during the COVID-19 public health crisis. The goal is to create a virtual archive that documents the ways that individuals and their communities are affected by social isolation, quarantine and illness, and mutual aid. The archive hopes to serve Rhode Islanders now and in the future by providing a way for Rhode Islanders to connect with one another as well as preserve the stories of this time for future researchers.
Wells has been the Curator of Rhode Island Collections at the Providence Public Library since 2013 after over a decade as an archivist and librarian in university libraries, state historical societies and municipal record collections across the country. In her current role, she focuses on demystifying the experience of collecting and accessing historic materials through supporting community archives, outreach for creative use of library collections and utilizing metadata and semantics in access models. Her professional and personal interests in history often overlap and inform personal explorations into the intersections of history of place, visual arts and contemporary culture. Her mission is to facilitate communication, inclusion, and connections to history in order to catalyze social justice and empowerment in communities and cultural heritage organizations.
Bender is the Film Archivist & Curator of Recorded Media at the Rhode Island Historical Society. She holds a master’s degree from NYU’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program, and studied Film Production and Africana Studies as an undergraduate at Vassar College. She’s an active member of the international Association of Moving Image Archivists and part of a core group of professionals working to improve preservation of local television news collections across the United States. Prior to becoming an archivist, Becca worked for many years as a documentary archival producer on projects such as the Emmy-nominated PBS series’ Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise and Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.