Collecting & Preserving the Story of COVID with Dr. Alexandra Lord

February 14, 2022

COVID-19 has changed all of our lives. It is a defining moment for this generation – and for American history – which means that the Smithsonian has made it a priority for collecting and interpreting for future generations. How we will remember this moment is something as a historian I’ve often thought about – and a reason I wanted to sit down with an expert at the Smithsonian who is focused on that very question. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re sitting down with Dr. Alexandra Lord, the Chair of the Chair Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to discuss how that institution is working to capture this moment in history. Dr. Alexandra Lord is an accomplished historian of medicine and health and is a leader in the effort to document COVID – a perfect guest as we approach the two-year anniversary of the onset of the pandemic.

More About Our Guest

Alexandra Lord is chair of the Division of Medicine and Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In this role, she oversees a division with over 100,000 objects, ranging from a Revolutionary War surgical kit to Bill Nye’s lab coat, and seeks to promote a better understanding of the history of medicine and science. As a historian, Lord’s research interests include public health history, how diseases related to women and children have been understood, and the intersections between cultural taboos and medicine. Previously, she was branch chief of the National Park Service, supervising the national preservation program, and a historian in the US Public Health Service.

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Learn more about the Smithsonian’s COVID collection at:

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