OMAHA – How will we remember the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Omaha and the surrounding communities in the years to come?
Several local museums and libraries, including the Archives and Special Collections in Criss Library at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), are working to document how the pandemic is affecting the lives of Nebraskans.
The Douglas County Historical Society, Durham Museum, El Museo Latino, Great Plains Black History Museum, History Nebraska, Sarpy County Museum, and UNMC McGoogan Library of Medicine are all taking part in this effort. The Durham Museum has provided a list of what each entity is collecting on its website.
“In partnership with other local institutions, we are striving to document our “present” history for future residents; our stories of struggle and triumph deserve to be told to future generations,” said Becky Putzer, Collection Manager at The Durham Museum.
The project was initially conceived as a way for UNO Libraries’ student workers to document their experiences during the pandemic. The initiative continues to expand beyond the UNO campus community as other historical agencies undertake similar efforts.
UNO archivists are searching for journal entries, reflections, interviews, photo essays, drawings, plays, and other creative forms of documenting these times. Information on submitting to the collection can be found on the UNO Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections website.
Claire Du Laney, project co-lead archivist said it is important to record and collect these experiences now because remembrances of everyday people are not always carefully gathered during times of crises. “UNO’s archivists want to avoid losing the diverse voices of our community, especially voices that have previously been ignored in archives and the historical record,” she said.
UNO’s collection will be available for browsing online through an exhibit hosted at covid19omaha.omeka.net.
Have questions about the process? Want to learn more? Contact the project co-lead archivists Lori Schwartz firstname.lastname@example.org and Claire Du Laney email@example.com in UNO Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.