Your History Is Now
No corner of the nation remains untouched by the coronavirus pandemic, and University of Illinois archivists are determined to reach any and all populations affected by it.
“We are trying to be thoughtful that we’re not stepping into the domain of other archives that are collecting for projects like this,” said Claire Weibel, MS ’20 LIS, outreach and collecting projects specialist at the Library’s Illinois History & Lincoln Collections unit. While University Archives is focusing its COVID-19 project on the campus community, IHLC seeks to connect with anyone residing in the state.
Launched in July, “Collecting COVID-19 Stories in Illinois” has solicited such entities as chambers of commerce, farmer’s markets, and artist groups in an attempt to reach a wide range of geographic and interest-based groups.
The “rapid-response” archival project (collecting in real time, rather than long after an event has passed) is wide open as far as what it will accept, including photography, diaries, emails, video and audio recordings, and screenshots of social-media posts. The submissions so far range from poetry to a reflection on changing medical research.
“People can submit what feels right to them,” Weibel said. “The Illinois History & Lincoln Collections hopes to gather materials that will provide future researchers with a view of Illinoisans’ experiences, thoughts, and feelings during this unprecedented time.”
To submit an entry, or for FAQs, visit go.library.illinois.edu/IHLCcovidproject.
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