UNO & Other Local Organizations Seeking Materials for Pandemic Project
By Kelsey Eihausen, NET News
April 29, 2020, 2:20 p.m. ·
The University of Nebraska at Omaha Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections are collecting journal entries, photos, art, audio, and more from the Omaha community to document the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nebraska. The organization is one of several in the Omaha and Lincoln metro area who are seeking to document local stories.
Lori Schwartz, Hagel Archivist at UNO, said it is important to collect the materials while the pandemic is ongoing so none of the emotions people are experiencing are lost.
“We’re really interested in those feelings and thoughts people are having as they go through this experience, and so that’s why we’re interested in the journals and writings and art, and the things they’re doing, you know, in the moment,” Schwartz said.
Claire Du Laney, Outreach Archivist at UNO, said the project started as an idea to give library student workers an opportunity to document their own experiences through a creative outlet, but the project grew to include experiences of the entire Omaha community.
She said past pandemics, such as the Spanish Flu, have not had extensive documentation, and they want to make sure future researchers have plenty of data to look back on.
“It’s an event that has affected everybody in different ways, in cultural, political, and economic ways, so, in a basic sense, it’s good research data,” Du Laney said.
Du Laney said the archivists want to be able to develop a good understanding of how different groups experienced the pandemic, and make sure all groups of people can have a voice of their own in the project.
To learn more information about how to submit materials, visit their website at covid19omaha.omeka.net.