Community (Digital) Engagement

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

On March 13, the Oshawa Museum announced that, out of an ‘abundance of caution,’ we will close our museum doors to visitors to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As soon as that decision was made, I went into digitial strategy mode.

While our social media presence really is a team effort, I’m the person working behind the scenes, planning, scheduling, drafting, formatting, editing, and posting. Once the closure announcement was made, I began thinking about how we can use our digital presence to continue to work towards our mandate of preserving and presenting Oshawa’s history.

My little corner of my little kitchen has become my office – provides for easy access to the coffee. My kitchen table doubles as a work space for spreading out various papers and binders. I’m very lucky that this aspect of my job is very easily achieved while working remotely. I have access to our shared network, I have all of our social media sites bookmarked and constantly open in several tabs of my browser. What I miss most of all is immediate collaboration that takes place in the office, of going downstairs and asking Jenn’s opinion and historical expertise, of asking Melissa about artefacts, bouncing ideas off Jill, and telling Laura my most outlandish ideas simply to get a reaction. Simply said, I miss the team.

What gives me inspiration is when our community converses back. Inspired by Historic Ships in Baltimore, we started a #museumalphabet series, and our community seems to enjoy what we’ve shared so far, a new photo, artefact, or story each starting with a new letter of the alphabet. Inspired by another popular hashtag, #museumfromhome, I’ve created a few short videos highlighting aspects of the Museum tour. If you can’t physically visit the museum, maybe visiting from the comforts of your couch via our YouTube channel can be the next best thing. Essentially, I’m feeling creative through this time of uncertainty and finding comfort in what I’ve been creating. At least, that’s how I’m feeling at the end of our second week of working from home. I hope others continue to find enjoyment out of what the OM team is digitally sharing through this unprecedented time.

Shameless plug for how to find us on Social Media:

Check out the Oshawa Museum Blog, with new posts every week and a blog archive going back to 2013! The handy search bar makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Head over to our YouTube page! Our podcast series is 80+ episodes, highlighting remarkable artefacts, documents, photographs, or events from our past.  We’re also adding behind the scenes videos and short tour videos, so you can experience the Oshawa Museum from the comforts of your home!

Since you can not visit us in person, why not visit our online collection database, which contains artefacts and photographs from the collections held at the Oshawa Museum.


Finally, I encourage you to participate in this project: COVID-19 in Oshawa. Please share your own personal experiences through this global crisis.

Published by Oshawa Museum

Since 1957, the Oshawa Museum has been acquiring and preserving for the public, records that trace Oshawa's rich history from its earliest settlement. Our collection includes historical information on Oshawa, its families, businesses, social organizations and many other areas of interest. Included in the collection are photographs, documents, scrapbooks and other Oshawa related memorabilia. In addition to making Oshawa's historical inforamtion available, our staff also provides lectures, presentations, conservation work and research assistance.

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