COVID-19: Documenting the MSU Experience
We are living in historic times.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is universally upending daily life, in both expected and unexpected ways. As members of the Montana State University (MSU) community, we are all being forced to react, adapt, and contend with the consequences of this in our personal, professional, and scholastic lives. MSU Library’s Special Collections seeks to document this new reality in real time by soliciting written reflections, and other records of life during the 2020 pandemic, from MSU students, staff, and faculty. These records will constitute an animate archive of lived experiences, and ideally of reciprocity: It is our hope that you, in turn, will find solace and support in the act of creating and reflecting.
What are we looking for?
Recorded observations, creative output, and artifacts--anything that reflects your feelings, changes and disruptions to your daily life, and thoughts related to COVID-19. Please be creative! This pandemic is affecting us in both significant and mundane ways. As MSU's historical repository, those are precisely the things that we seek to document: the realities of everyday life for members of our community. Wondering what you can submit? Potential ideas for submission formats include:
- Written thought-pieces
- Recorded video or audio files
- Social media posts (screenshots are fine)
- ...or anything else you can think of!
Potential themes include (but are not limited to):
- The transition to online classes & remote learning
- Disruptions to your housing situation
- Loss of employment
- The unemployment application experience
- Mental health
- Personal experiences with COVID-19
- Maintaining relationships during social distancing
- Working from home
- The international student experience
- Resource availability (shopping, cooking)
Through these efforts we are co-creating a living community archive, one which seeks to document the MSU experience in full. These records will constitute the "'COVID-19: Documenting the MSU Experience' Collection", which will be preserved and made accessible in MSU's Special Collections and Archives.
Please note that we are working separately with MSU faculty members to collect student assignments related to COVID-19. If you are a student who has completed such an assignment, check with your instructor before submitting that material here. Conversely, if you are a faculty member who has assigned students work which is related to COVID-19 and are interested in depositiong this material in the archives, please contact Jan Zauha at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a Gallatin County resident who is not affiliated with MSU, you can contribute your own reflections through the Gallatin History Museum’s “Gallatin County: A Community Memoir Project”.
We recognize that this is a time of extreme stress, worry, and heightened emotions. If you are experiencing hardships relating to mental health, financial and/or housing situations, classes, or anything else related to COVID-19, please utilize the following resources:
- Montana State University, “Information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19)"
- Montana Department of Labor & Industry COVID-19: Resource Guide for Montana Employers and Employees
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Stress and Coping
- Mental Health America, Mental Health and COVID-19--Information and Resources
- National Alliance on Mental Illness COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide