library, uchicago

The "Nuclear Energy" sculpture and the Mansueto Library, 1100 E. 57th St.

The University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center has decided to document and publish the experiences of students, faculty, alumni and community members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Processing Archivist Ashley Gosselar says the purpose of the UChicago COVID-19 Archive is to record the historic moment in our community. “Collectively, the stories, artwork, ephemera and more that people submit to the archive will help paint a picture for people in the future about what it was like during this pandemic,” said Gosselar.

The COVID-19 Archive would be compiled from submissions of University of Chicago students, faculty, staff, alumni and residents in the surrounding South Side neighborhoods and community. The Archive will be located in the Library’s Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) and will be accessible by anyone, without any affiliation to the University of Chicago. The SCRC will be open to anyone once permitted and the Archive will be open in perpetuity.

This is not the first Archive of its kind, “Thanks to archivists in the past, we know how UChicagoans responded to the 1918 influenza pandemic,” said Gosselar, “hopefully the same can be said about the COVID-19 pandemic 100 years from now.”

“Here at the University of Chicago,” Gosselar said, “we are responsible for documenting the history of this institution. That includes documenting big events such as the COVID-19 pandemic that affect every aspect of campus and community life.”

Several archivists are working to compile submissions and document these experiences. Questions about the archive can be directed to universityarchives@lib.uchicago.edu

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