Living through “unprecedented times” was probably not the plan for most of us heading into 2020, but as the year comes to a close, we can certainly agree that it has been one to remember. For better or worse, the events of this year will be picked apart and studied for generations to come. Historians and researchers will want to know what life was like for everyday people suddenly finding themselves living in a pandemic world. Like many other archival institutions around the country, we wanted to be a part of building that vital historical narrative. Back in April, we invited community members to share their stories of life during the pandemic with us. We are excited to announce that those stories are available online today for everyone to see in our newest digital collection, “Documenting the Pandemic: Stories from Southeast.”

When we first started this project, we never would have imagined how things would have changed since April and how we would have adapted our daily lives to accommodate COVID-19. Our goal with this project has been to capture through first-hand accounts how life on campus and in Southeast Missouri has changed. We are very grateful for the nearly fifty people who took the time to document and share their experiences. Many of our submissions come from earlier in the pandemic and even just a few months later, it is interesting to see how much daily life has evolved in our region.

We hope you learn a lot from reading about how COVID-19 has affected your fellow community members, and we know that these accounts will be of great value to future researchers. We have included a few images from the collection here, but you can check out all the submissions at If you would like your story to become part of the collection, please let us know! We would still love to hear what you have to say about your experiences. If you’re interested, you can find more information on our website at

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