Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Kent Library to preserve pandemic history through digital collection

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Kent Library at Southeast is inviting students, staff, faculty and anyone within the Southeast Missouri region to contribute to their Special Collections and Archives through their personal experiences while living during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Kent Library’s website The Special Collections and Archives acquire, preserve and make accessible research materials that document the historical, literary and cultural experience of southeast missouri.

This digital collection titled “Documenting the Pandemic: Stories from Southeast,” will be a compilation of submitted items such as stories, pictures and videos.

Roxanne Dunn, Special Collections and Archives librarian said that by sharing primary sources or first-hand accounts, the Library will be able to help create a historical record for the future.

“People’s accounts of history as it happens to them will be preserved in the archives and then shared publicly for scholars and researchers to use as they study this coronavirus pandemic,” Dunn said.

Some thought-provoking questions provided by Kent Library to inspire individuals and contribute include:

How are your online classes going? Has anything unexpected happened through the online move? What kinds of messages have you received from your professors and other students?

Did you move off campus due to COVID-19? What was that experience like? How did you get your personal belongings off campus?

Do/did you have a job on or off campus? What work did/do you do? How has that been affected by the pandemic?

What do you miss the most, or what has been the most surprising to you, since the pandemic has taken a hold on almost every aspect of our daily lives?

Dean of Kent Library Barbara Glackin said this collection will act as a time capsule to reflect upon not only for individuals who experienced the pandemic firsthand but for future generations to be able to learn from.

“As we move further away from 2020, these individual stories, images and narratives will provide firsthand accounts of what we experienced, what we thought and how we persevered through this challenge,” Glackin said.

The collection is currently being compiled and will be available online in Special Collections’ Digital Collections this fall.

To submit content to the collection, students can visit Kent Library’s website at https://semo.libwizard.com/f/covid19 .

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