The Auckland War Memorial Museum has put out a call for Covid-19 objects to tell the story of the pandemic to future generations.

Curator of history Lucy Mackintosh and curator of manuscripts Nina Finigan said they wanted to document how the lockdown affected daily life - from how businesses have adapted to the four-tiered level restrictions to how Kiwis have connected during the crisis.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has changed lives and will be a defining moment of our time. We're looking for objects, material and photos to tell this story," they said.

"We want to collect objects such as photographs, arts and crafts, posters and signs, journals or diaries as well as things that defined this time such as masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and scrubs."


While the museum was already working with some businesses and local health facilities, they were on the hunt for more personal reflections.

Kids nationwide have gone on a teddy bear hunt during their daily walk, as people were encouraged to line the streets with poppies and attend virtual services to honour fallen soldiers on Anzac Day.

The Auckland Museum is on the hunt for objects to tell the story of the pandemic for future generations. Photo / Dean Purcell
The Auckland Museum is on the hunt for objects to tell the story of the pandemic for future generations. Photo / Dean Purcell

Meanwhile, keen bakers stripped supermarket shelves of flour, as if the timer was ringing to signal the beginning of a lockdown bake-off.

And just last month, Countdown declared the The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020 to be over, after weeks of panic-buying forced stores to impose limits on some items.

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Mackintosh and Finigan said a curator's role was to think about the future and judge what kinds of material, objects and stories would best reflect this unprecedented time in New Zealand's history.

"We are on the lookout for additional things that are particularly personal and resonant, or that give different perspectives on the pandemic in Auckland and surrounding areas.

"Street signs, creative projects and emotional responses to the pandemic are some of things we are hoping to add to the collection."

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While some may think the museum collects only historic material, in reality history was being created every day, Finigan said.


"We collect social and cultural history, the history of war and conflict, as well as evidence from the natural environment.

"Moments like the one we are living through bring this idea into sharpened focus," she said.

To submit items to the Auckland Museum complete and submit this form and email it, with any relevant photographs or information on the item's use and its significance, to

Find more information on donating to the museum's collection here. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website