top photo of coronavirus, bottom photo of black man with a black power signAs we walk through the unprecedented events of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resurgence of anti-racism movements both nationally and locally, we are inundated daily by images, information, decisions, media and messages that affect our lives and our work. Most of that information – and our interactions with others – is now coming through screens, handheld devices and laptops streaming content from news, social media, websites, and Zoom meetings.

In an effort to document and preserve this unique moment in time for future researchers and educators, the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) in the Henry Madden Library launched two new archives, both of which have digital preservation components: The Social Responsibility Collection and the COVID-19 Digital Archive.

If you are a Fresno State student, faculty, or staff member, the Library invites you to document and submit your experiences of COVID-19 and your anti-racism work for future generations to study. Everything from social media posts to protest posters can be considered for archiving.

This is an incredible year of unprecedented events, and it’s important for us to collect as much as we can about how it affected those working, studying and teaching at Fresno State.

Archivists collect, preserve, and catalog records and documents for the future. These materials are then made accessible to later generations, allowing for a clearer study of the decisions, ideas and attitudes of society at a particular place and time. In recent years, advances in digital archiving – the preservation of online and digital files – has gained prominence as much of our life documentation exists solely in the digital realm.

Adam Wallace, the digital archives specialist in the SCRC, is already busy documenting and archiving all of the campus websites and communications regarding COVID-19 and social justice to document the official messaging around campus events. Personal accounts, documents and messages from departments, and the personal accounts of faculty, staff and students are also needed to complete the picture.

This is an incredible year of unprecedented events, and it’s important for us to collect as much as we can about how it affected those working, studying and teaching at Fresno State.

The collections benefit from the donations and submissions of a wide variety of contributors, which give a broader and more diverse perspective on the era. See below for the outline of each collection and how you can submit your materials.

 

Written by Heather Parish.
Photo from SCRC.