HSU Special Collections creates COVID-19 Archive Project

ARCATA, Calif. (KIEM) – Imagine being a Humboldt State University student or professor in 3020 and questioning what life was like amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Well, HSU Special Collections is working on a community archive project that documents Humboldt County’s experience during this historical time.

HSU Special Collections Librarian Carly Marino says the short-term goal of this project is to give people the opportunity to share their experiences during this time. She says the long-term goal is to make this collection and moment in history available for future researchers.

Marino has witnessed students and community members search through HSU Collections that date back to World War II or even the 1918 Spanish Flu.

She wants Humboldt County’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic to be accessible in the future, just as the historical moments from 100 years ago are accessible now.

Anyone in the Humboldt County community is welcome to contribute to this project. Items being documented include diaries, videos, artwork, books and any other creative format that might be thought of.

One of the first contributions to the archive was a book of poems produced by 40 local poets.

The City of Eureka’s Poet Laureate, David Holper, says the poems range from darkness to humor as the poets explore their emotional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Physical and digital files will be archived appropriately, but physical items will begin to be accepted when the county’s shelter in place order is lifted.

Anyone looking to contribute physical materials is asked to email Marino at carly.marino@humboldt.edu to schedule an appointment to drop off your item(s) once the county’s shelter in place order is lifted. Digital materials can be submitted by using this Google form, or by emailing Marino.