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Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive Project

Photo of chalk drawing that says "Wash Your Hands"
April 1, 2020

In these unprecedented times, one thing we can turn to is the preservation of the moment.

Like any major historical event, one day people of the future will research and write about the impacts of the COVID-19. It might be easy to access/find statistics and numbers, but perhaps they will want more. People might want to understand the context of the situation:  how did people react during this moment in history? How were people in the community affected? What are their stories?

The Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archives Project, organized by the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives & Special Collections, will be a resource that people of the future can look to for answers to these questions. The goal of the project is to create a community archive that will preserve the story of this unprecedented time. To do this, the Archives needs your help! We would like to collect the materials you are creating right now that document this time. 

What can I submit?  

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.

Some examples of items you might contribute to the archives include: 

  • Photos of scenes from your neighborhood, grocery stores, or other places that have changed during this time

  • Signage from restaurants, playgrounds, grocery stores, etc.

  • Social media posts (video/photo)

  • Recordings of musical events or other events shared online during social distancing practices

  • Materials from your place of worship explaining the move to online services

  • Homeschooling schedules or other daily routines 

  • Your own journal entries documenting this time

This list is not exclusive. If an item documents some aspect of how you or your community is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic in Northeastern Minnesota, it’s probably appropriate for the archive!  

Submissions may be in the form of digital photographs, text files, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations, audio files, or video files.

However, we are NOT collecting any newspaper articles, any local newscasts, or any materials from people or businesses outside of Northeastern Minnesota.

If you would like to learn more, including information on how to submit, please check out our research guide: https://libguides.d.umn.edu/covid-19/intro

We have compiled some frequently asked questions about this project. You may also contact us at libarchives@d.umn.edu or (218) 726-8526.