(17 Jun 2021) From the National Library of New Zealand:
Memes are images, videos, and/or text, usually humorous, that use cultural references to provide commentary about what is going on in the world around us. These are often posted to social media or direct messaging apps and regularly remixed and repurposed to respond to current events.
During the Library’s initial rapid response online COVID-19 collecting, we discovered nearly 500 different Coronavirus-related memes shared by New Zealanders on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit, just in March and April 2020. Many of the memes collected were New Zealand-specific, and sometimes the same meme was adapted into both English and in te reo Māori.
At first, we downloaded these manually, and later developed harvesting tools to allow us to automate the collection of these digital files. By December 2020, we had collected over 1,000 memes, with peaks in the numbers of memes being created and posted during each of the COVID-19 alert level changes, and smaller increases around the general election campaign period.
To find out more details and access to the collection, see here.