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Sumter County Museum collecting photos, items to capture pandemic history

Those interested can provide photos, videos, physical items and even personal accounts to help tell the pandemic story in Sumter County.

SUMTER, S.C. — The Sumter County Museum is collecting items to tell the community's story during the coronavirus pandemic.

The project, known as 'Our Living History,' includes photos, videos, newspaper clippings, physical items, and even personal accounts of historical value.

"We saw a need in our community to document this time because we’re living and are still living in a very historic time that people are going to want to learn from, they're going to want to learn about 50, 100 years down the road, and we want to be able to do future museum exhibits about it," Museum Executive Director Annie Rivers said. "We also wanted to engage people and get them actively involved in telling their own stories." 

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Rivers says they've been collecting items since May of last year.

Some of photos show healthcare workers and masked residents, chalk drawings at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital with encouraging words for staff, and grocery store employees sanitizing carts.

Credit: Sumter County Museum
Walmart employee sanitizes cart.

They also have photos showcasing when the community came together, like last Easter when churches were closed, but hundreds of crosses appeared at homes around the county in a show of unity honoring the holiday.

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"We want to just learn about your experiences," Rivers said. "What it was like when there was a stay at home order. We want physical items as well. Signage.  You know, anything that would help us tell the story in the future.”

Those interested in participating can visit the museum Thursday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 122 N Washington Street, call them at 803-775-0908, or use this link to learn more or provide digital materials.