The Institute’s vocation is to collect, archive and analyse the traces and memories of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because there is no hope without memory, our ambition is to create and maintain a digital memory of the pandemic, a space for preserving the history and maintaining the memory of experiences and events. This digital memory site (lieu de mémoire numérique) is also intended to provide a space for sharing, so that each person can learn from the experience of others.

Societies have always been able to invent ways of remembering dramatic moments that they have gone through, in order to reinvent forms of coexistence.  To this end, the COVID-19 Ad Memoriam Institute brings together multiple worlds – researchers, caregivers, artists, lawyers, victims’ associations, spiritual and cultural authorities and major currents of thought, representatives of civil society, entrepreneurs, students – to develop a common reflection on the COVID-19 pandemic, which constitutes a major anthropological rupture for French society and, more broadly, our globalized world.

The Institute’s ambition is to encourage the confrontation of points of view so that each field of research is nourished by the work of other disciplines. Studies in various disciplines (social sciences, health, law, etc.) are already very numerous and innovative, yet they are also compartmentalized and not very accessible. Our task is to increase their visibility and accessibility in order to nourish wider debate and reflection.

A central focus is to stimulate new research. There is no lack of themes of pursue, from taking the measure of this anthropological rupture to collectively thinking through the multiple impacts of new practices such as telecommuting, telemedicine, distance learning, and family and friendship links by digital means.

We must explore new economic, financial and ecological paradigms arising from this rupture, and their follow-through in public policies.

We must also weigh up the commitments necessary to deal with the most blatant forms of inequality revealed by the pandemic – which, like every such event, victimizes the poorest in society.

Public policies need to be documented and bolstered in order for French society to overcome the shock of Covid-19 and to emerge stronger from this ordeal.

Finally, the Institute encourages collective reflection and invention of commemorative practices, benefitting from the participation of all the members of the consortium. The aim is to give a collective dimension to the most intimate vital ruptures – separation, distancing, death, mourning – but also to

In creating this centre for digital memory and reflection, the Institute is collecting international experiences as well as the specificities of French culture and society, not only in relation to this crisis but also to other major anthropological ruptures, particularly in the twentieth century.


This international component is being developed within the framework of a scientific partnership with the World Health Organization.

A study of archival practices related to COVID is being carried out by one of our partners, a team of the CNRS which supports the ArchiCovid project. If you are interested in answering their questionnaire – totally anonymous – about your archiving practices, you can contact the project at archicovid@services.cnrs.fr