Imagine that 100 years from now you are researching the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in Northeastern Minnesota. It’s easy to find dry statistics and numbers, but you want more. What were people thinking and feeling during this time? What informational materials and public art did they create? How were they helping each other? What did the day-to-day experience of this time look like in Duluth?
What if there were an archive of those experiences for you to explore?
Welcome to the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archives Project, organized by the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives & Special Collections. The goal of this project is to create a community archive that will preserve the story of this unprecedented time in our community. To do this, we need your help. We would like to collect the materials you are creating right now that document this time.
Image: "School" by Krista Sue-Lo Twu
Some examples of items that could be included in the archive are: A sign, social media post, or video created for your business directing customers to practice social distancing, or explaining your altered business model; a recording of a musical or spoken word event shared online during this time; photographs of scenes from around your community, such as empty shelves in the grocery store, or people in your neighborhood talking to each other while standing six feet apart; materials from your place of worship explaining the move to online services; photographs of public art, such as chalk art on sidewalks, or paper hearts posted in windows; homeschool schedules or other daily routines; your own journal entries (written, audio, or video) documenting your quarantine experience.
These are only a few examples. We welcome documentation that represents individual experiences, and also documentation that represents your community's experience. This includes but is not limited to how businesses, government agencies, schools, colleges/universities, health care agencies and religious, social, political and other organizations are affected by the pandemic as well as documentation of individuals' feelings and reactions to the pandemic, routines for school children at home, examples of mutual aid, day-to-day quarantine routines, and life for essential service workers. Submissions may be in the form of digital photographs, text files, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations, audio files, or video files.
Image: Jeremy Davis and family, 2020
Thank you for helping us with this important project. Your contributions are a crucial part of telling the story of the COVID-19 pandemic in our community.