The National Library of Israel is asking you to send us examples of digital ephemera which convey a sense of the times
These ephemeral digital fragments are documenting Jewish history in real-time. And they are also ephemera – in ordinary times they might be items such as a synagogue timetable, a kosher restaurant menu, wedding invitation or Jewish film festival poster – items people would not necessarily think to keep, but that will later define our communities and our culture for future generations.
In these extraordinary times, they include a whole range of materials reflecting halachic innovations, new forms of ‘socially distanced’ communal life, educational creativity, Jewish irony and unthinkable situations of mourning our lost ones. These items deserve to be collected as they will tell a story of resilience, creativity and also tragedy .
Fortunately, the National Library of Israel (NLI) is creating the COVID-19 Jewish ephemera collection, the perfect central repository ‘ a digital time capsule’ for this information.
Future students of sociology, anthropology, medical history, Jewish communal life, mass marketing, computer science and rabbinic responsa will be tremendously grateful. Consider the NLI as a library without borders – with links to Jewish communities, people and libraries wherever they may be, drawing on the cyber revolution to enhance community engagement, digital preservation, open access, and collaborative projects globally.
We all hope that one day soon COVID-19 will be history – help us record this unique and historic time.
This article is based on a longer one published on the Times of Israel website, here.