You Can Help Tell the Story of How We Endured the COVID-19 Pandemic

Each one of us has a story to tell about what day-to-day life is like during the coronavirus pandemic. A single father homeschools his children. A woman meets her newborn grandchild through a pane of glass. Six school friends meet weekly for a social on Zoom. A private burial.

Four entities have joined forces to collect experiences in stories and photographs to fully document the impact of the worldwide pandemic on our families, neighborhoods, businesses and our region.

Their goal is to help tell the story as it unfolds, and to provide a full history for future researchers.

The partner entities are the Missouri State University’s Special Collections and Archives, the History Museum on the Square, the State Historical Society of Missouri, and the Springfield-Greene County Library District.

“The details of individuals’ day-to-day lives right now will be important to researchers, just as historians and students today look back at the 1918 influenza pandemic,” said Tracie Gieselman-France, with MSU’s Special Collections and Archives. “A century from now, this information may mean the world to someone trying to understand the effects of the pandemic on daily lives.”

Each institution offers a different way for people to document their experiences. 

Missouri State University Special Collections and Archives 

The MSU Archives invites submissions from anyone with small or large connections to MSU, such as employees, alumni, students and their families, speakers and attendees at MSU events, construction companies that have worked on campus buildings, etc.

Use this form to submit your thoughts, experiences, and photos to the Archives, or contact us at Archives@MissouriState.edu. Comments submitted via the online form can be made anonymously, and the form can be submitted multiple times if community members want to send updates on their situations.

If you have physical items related to the pandemic (such as a sign displayed at an office, business, or home; patterns for masks, favorite recipes, or artwork), contact Archives@MissouriState.edu for more information.

History Museum on the Square

The History Museum on the Square is actively collecting your stories to build a “Chronicling COVID-19 in our Community” collection. Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in the form of photos, videos, audio recordings, journal/diary entries, or simply telling a story to help us build a diverse and informative collection. 

Fill out the form and upload any files you are able to submit. For more information or assistance, email the museum archivist:  lindsey@historymuseumonthesquare.org.  

State Historical Society of Missouri 

Taking a broader view, the State Historical Society of Missouri invites people from across the state to document how they are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic. Contribute to the new “Documenting COVID-19 in Missouri Collection,” with personal stories, journals, poetry, artwork, photos, videos and oral histories.

Digital materials can be submitted online at https://shsmo.org/collections/covid in a variety of formats. Contributors to the COVID-19 collection may remain anonymous or include their name with the material donated. They may request that their donated material be restricted from public access until a later date. Both adults and children (with parent or guardian consent) are encouraged to submit their story.  

Springfield-Greene County Library District

The Springfield-Greene County Library District invites you to submit images to document scenes of life in the Ozarks as we practice self-distancing and stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic. These photographs can be images of daily life coping with social distancing, or unusual scenes outside the home such as drive-by birthday parties, empty parking lots, colorful messages on homeowner windows, 6-feet-away warning signs, and people wearing personal protective equipment.

Enhance these stories by describing the people, places, and events depicted in the image to preserve this piece of Ozarks history. The images and descriptive information will be added to the Library District’s Digital Archive.

The Springfield, Missouri, Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nonprofit marketing organization dedicated to growing the local economy through growth in travel and tourism.