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St. Louis County Historical Society, University of Minnesota Duluth seek pandemic artifacts

Both institutions are archiving photos and experiences.

Duluth Depot
The St. Louis County Depot. (File / News Tribune)

The St. Louis County Historical Society is asking for the public's help in archiving COVID-19-related artifacts, photos and experiences for future generations.

While the SLCHS is not yet accepting donations, as COVID-19-related artifacts are still in use, curator Charley Langowski is encouraging people to start thinking about what they would want to show their family members 50-100 years from now, a news release read.

โ€œA year from now, are we going to remember what it felt like to be afraid of touching door handles or grocery store carts?โ€ Langowski said. โ€œWe must save the stories of how our lives changed and how we adapted. Future generations will want to know.โ€

Possible artifacts include diaries, mask patterns, recipes for homemade hand sanitizers, distance-learning lesson plans, social distancing signs and quarantine crafts.

Future donations must include why the artifacts are important, how they were used and what part of life they reflected, the news release stated.

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To share COVID-19 experiences now, people can tag the SLCHS on social media using the handle @thehistorypeople; email Langowski at charlene@thehistorypeople.org; or mail items to the Historical Society, 506 W. Michigan St. #9, Duluth, MN 55802.

UMD archives accepting donations

The University of Minnesota Duluth's archives and special collections of the Kathryn A. Martin Library launched a similar community archive project at the end of March. The library is accepting submissions that represent individual and community experiences.

Submissions can be made in the form of digital photographs, text files, PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations, audio files and video files, according to a UMD news release.

To learn more, visit libguides.d.umn.edu/covid-19/intro .

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