REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM): A COVID-19 Research Project
As libraries, museums, and archives adjust policies and operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is need for clear, science-based information to support local decision making. In response, OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle launched a research partnership and communication network in April 2020.
The REALM project is conducting research that includes laboratory testing on materials commonly found in archives, libraries, and museums; tracking the scientific literature on issues of transmission, decontamination, vaccines and variants; and collecting illustrative examples that can help cultural heritage institutions mitigate COVID-19 exposure to staff and visitors.
REALM project activities will run through September 2021 and have included:
- Collecting, reviewing, and summarizing authoritative research that applies to materials commonly found in the collections and facilities of archives, libraries, and museums
- Ongoing consultation and engagement with a project steering committee, working groups, and other subject matter experts from archives, libraries, and museums
- Laboratory testing of how COVID-19 interacts with a selection of materials commonly found in archives, libraries, and museums; and identifying methods of handling and remediation
- Host discussions with representatives from a diverse range of institutions on topics related to navigating through, preparing for, and recovering from public health crises
- Synthesize the above inputs into toolkit resources that support operational and leadership considerations
- Share project information and toolkit resources through the project website, presentations, and member associations and support organizations that serve archives, libraries, and/or museums.
Go to REALM website: oc.lc/realm