Michigan launches history-collecting initiative to capture COVID-19 experiences

Michigan History Center.jpg
Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 07:59:31-04

LANSING, Mich. — Friday afternoon, The Michigan History Center today announced a new collecting initiative that gives residents the opportunity to share stories that reflect their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, for the benefit of future generations.

The Michigan History Center is committed to documenting – through objects, archival materials, stories and experiences from diverse Michiganders – how the coronavirus is affecting Michigan residents in the workplace, at home, in communities and in many other settings.

The first phase of the three-phase collecting initiative is active right now. It offers a web-based platform for people to share and donate photos, videos and audio files that document their daily lives during this emergency – all of which will be considered for preservation in the Archives of Michigan’s collections.

The following questions can provide a starting point in choosing what to share:

  • How are you communicating with family, friends and colleagues?
  • Have certain places become more important to you?
  • What is something that has brought you unexpected joy?
  • What steps have you taken to protect your health and the health of others?

The final two phases involve collecting 3-D objects and documents related to the crisis and collecting stories of the pandemic through oral history, StoryCorps interviews, and memoirs.

“There is no question that the coronavirus emergency that is so deeply affecting all our lives is a significant history-making time. That’s why the Michigan History Center is launching this collecting project now,” said Sandra Clark, Michigan History Center director. “We hope, too, that the shared experiences will strengthen our state’s sense of community and reduce feelings of isolation.”

Michigan residents can learn more about the initiative at