Archive 404

Archives 404 is the initiative and an experiment of the Center for Urban History intended to document and record the unusual experience of mankind amidst the pandemic. It was born as a response to the global introduction of restrictions to contain the COVID-19. As historians, we felt the need to collect the sources and materials during the quarantine to create a space for its historic comprehension. A key focus is on individual experiences and reflections about people's daily routines, relations with close ones, changes, lifestyles, problems, and challenges. 
The collection of the "Archive 404" is compiled on the basis of principles of joint voluntary creation. In response to the call for materials, we receive photos, videos, personal stories, and any digital documents as evidence of the quarantined experience. Upon viewing and managing them, we publish the materials on the website of the Urban Media Archive of the Center for Urban History. You can also contribute to the project and become part of the Archives 404. Please, write to [email protected] 

We do not have any deadlines for collecting the materials. Feel free to send your quarantine records also after it is over. 

We will be grateful to have you share the materials that describe your everyday life under the quarantine. We mean the notes and observations of everyday things: from cooking to eating your meals, work, leisure time, cleaning the house, communicating, and distancing.

You can use any recording tools available to you: 
  • photos 
  • video
  • text or audio narratives (audio comment)
  • drawings
  • screenshots
  • Google-maps or maps of space that started owning you
  • History of search results or views on your digital devices

Please,  add to these materials the brief description, if possible – what it is and why it is important for you at the moment.

Permit to Use
By submitting your materials, you grant your permit to their further public use and inclusion into the collection of the Urban Media Archive. The data you submitted, and their authorship will be kept. Should you mind such use, or in case of questions, feel free to contact us.

You can stay anonymous by stating this in the letter, or tell us about yourself so that we could mention you as the co-author of the archives.

Send your materials to the email [email protected] in any convenient form – either in attachment or via the file share service.

If you wish to share your ideas and observations with us on a regular basis during April, please, write to us about it.

In the future, the collected materials will be part of the archives that would help interpret and rethink the new social experience. We are running this experiment in response to new challenges, and we cannot know for sure what the outcomes are going to be. However, we do believe they will help uncover new knowledge.  

We hope this kind of co-creation of the daily archives will help us live through this time, to comprehend this unique and hard period later.
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Archive 404