Collecting Community History Initiative: The West During COVID-19

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Topics: The Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative, Collections

Focus: A preservation initiative to assist communities across the American West on saving and protecting objects of meaning.

By: Tyree Boyd-Pates, Associate Curator of Western History

The Autry Museum of the American West is helping communities across the West identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting April 27, the Autry is launching its Collecting Community History: A Regional Collections Initiative of Exploration and Preservation. It is the first in a series of efforts to support communities in the West collect, catalogue, and preserve moments of history—past and present.

History is being made NOW. COVID-19 has altered our daily lives in ways that are profound and will shape our behavior, communities, and society for generations to come. Despite being physically apart, communities persist and flourish through creative forms of sharing, from the sharing of oral histories online to family recipes and the creation of masks that both keep us safe while speaking to our individuality, communities, and culture.

At the Autry, we look at history as ever-present and want to work beside you in preserving this moment. We invite you to share an aspect of your creative practices and ways of staying connected during this time, such as journal entries, recipes, and pictures of face masks during this quarantine. We will be highlighting some of these different objects, images, and experiences on our blog, The Autry Files. 

Please donate your personal experiences and resources to the Collecting Community History Initiative (CCHI) to help preserve our community's history. Thank you for your support. 

For questions, e-mail


Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

4700 Western Heritage Way

Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
Map and Directions

Free parking for Autry visitors.

Tuesday–Friday 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Food Trucks are available on select days, contact us for details at 323.495.4252.
The cafe is temporarily closed until further notice.