Historians and archivists from Missoula County, the City of Missoula, the University of Montana, the Downtown Missoula Partnership’s “Heritage Missoula” Program and private Missoula businesses have teamed up to create “Documenting COVID-19 in Missoula County: A Community Archive Project.”
The project encourages agencies, organizations and community members, both urban and rural, in Missoula County to document their actions and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a way for this documentation to be collected, maintained and shared as a community archive, according to project coordinator Matt Lautzenheiser, executive director of the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.
Items collected will include documents, emails, notes, videos, online content, oral histories, photos, journals, creative writings, interviews, and public documents from the City of Missoula and Missoula County. In addition, the “Documenting COVID-19 in Missoula County: A Community Archives Project” seeks to engage local community members, online communities, businesses and nonprofits to capture the overall impact of COVID-19 on Missoula County from both a public and a private perspective.
Archives and Special Collections at UM’s Mansfield Library will archive the collected materials and make them available to public officials, scholars and the public after the project wraps up.
“We are living in a truly historic time,” said Donna McCrea, head of Archives and Special Collections. “How we react and respond – as individuals and as a community – will be of interest 10 years from now and 100 years from now. We know that the best way to ensure this content is available to future generations is to gather it proactively right now.”
People can submit written materials, photographs, audio and visual files, and other documents reflecting their experiences during this period using a form on the Mansfield Library’s website. Click on the link below to submit your experience or to learn more information!