Museum of the City of New York Chooses Selections from the CSI Public History Coronavirus Chronicle for Its New Exhibit

Rush-hour at the Staten Island Ferry terminal ferry soon after the lock down was lifted. (Susan Smith-Peter, 
June 24, 2020, Courtesy of the College of Staten Island/CUNY)

The Museum of the City of New York has selected photos and videos from the CSI Public History Coronavirus Chronicle, which has been documenting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic online.

Seven photos and videos from this project are prominently featured in a new online exhibit at the Museum entitled New York Responds: The First Six Months, which runs through April 11. Two photos by CSI History Professor Susan Smith-Peter, one of the organizers of the CSI Public History page, are featured, along with three from Steve White, a freelance photographer and firefighter. In addition, a video blog from CSI MSEd student Ashley Olivetti and a school blog by CSI History alumnus Andrew Savage were included. The exhibit contains a total of 100 items.

Commenting on the selection, Prof. Smith-Peter said, “I’m honored to have my photos chosen for the exhibit to show how Staten Islanders have responded to the virus in a more complex way than is often shown…They received more than 20,000 submissions. These are the only items in the exhibit that deal with Staten Island. I feel especially honored to represent Staten Island in this way.”

CSI Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Parrish stated, “Congratulations to Dr. Smith-Peter and her team for this recognition, and for the important role they have played in documenting this unprecedented time in the history of Staten Island.”

Prof. Smith-Peter created the CSI Public History Coronavirus Chronicle along with Joseph Frusci, Adjunct Assistant Professor of History, as a repository for the materials on the virus on Staten Island that they received during the pandemic. Prof. Smith-Peter said that HST 751 (Archival Studies) students have cataloged these materials, gaining valuable archival experience, which “will help next semester’s class in Public History create an online exhibit on the history of the virus on Staten Island.”

By Terry Mares and Michael Parrish