We have sought to archive the Coronavirus pandemic of 2019-2020, and its various effects locally, nationally and internationally. We have tried to do so in a historical context, by examining the Bombay Plague of 1896, the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 (with a focus on India), and the Surat Plague of 1994.
We have tried to understand what an archive can or cannot contain, what it has recorded historically, and particularly, what has not been recorded during pandemics in India in the last 200 years.
We argue that while some narratives, such as those of migrants, have been lost in history, archives being formulated today correct this. We hope that this can lead to a more humane and sensitive reading of our times, as they become future histories for posterity.
We also look at the role of information, misinformation and disinformation, to see how migrant narratives have been shaped by them, and to remark upon the magnitude of effects they can cause today. We are also interested in the notion of a Digital Archive, and hope to initiate discussions on how to chronicle events in the Information Age.