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Making history

It’s said that journalism is the first draft of history. At the Press, we have been acutely aware over the past few weeks of our responsibility to future generations as well as our loyal readers who are living through the COVID-19 crisis today.

In addition to our regular coverage of town affairs, we have been publishing a weekday State of the Town report since the earliest days of Harvard’s state of emergency. Available online at no charge, we hope it serves not only as a useful one-stop source of information about the Harvard community but also as a journal of life in the town that can provide a chronology for future historians.

In our regular reporting we are documenting how COVID-19 and its consequences are affecting various members and businesses in our community. Last week we reported on restaurants making the shift to takeout in order to stay alive. Our “Helping Hands” column is a guide for readers seeking help and offering help. In our “View from the Home Front” feature we are attempting to capture the thoughts and experiences of townsfolk—as well as photographic images of day-to-day life. And our weekly front-page COVID-19 news wrap-up records what’s been most significant in the preceding seven days.

But there’s more to be done, and recently we’ve discussed with the Harvard Historical Society how we might work together to create a record of this unique time, one that, like the great pandemic of 1918, will echo down the years.

If you’d like to join such an effort, please send us an email at editor@harvardpress.net. We’re planning a Zoom-enabled brainstorming session in the near future and would welcome volunteers. We extend a special invitation to college students who’ve returned to Harvard to complete their spring studies. School will be out soon. If you are a student of history, journalism, communications, or videography, we’d especially like to hear from you. Join us in making history.

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