Wyomingites encouraged to share their pandemic stories with UW’s American Heritage Center

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the vast majority of Wyomingites and is something we likely won’t forget in the near future. The American Heritage Center (AHC) at the University of Wyoming is collecting experiences and thoughts of Wyoming residents during the pandemic.

“The AHC is inviting residents to consider what you would tell future generations about your experiences and memories of this unusual time, and then to share that with us,” says AHC Director Paul Flesher. “Each person’s written or spoken thoughts, or creative projects, can help humankind understand what it was like to experience daily life during this local and global crisis.”

He says the media is recording the bigger picture and capturing impacts on global and high-risk areas relating to the pandemic, and that the AHC needs residents’ help to capture the voices of individuals, families, and friends in this ongoing communal history.

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Residents can share thoughts and experiences by answering a few open-ended questions provided in the AHC’s COVID-19 survey by clicking here.

The AHC also will accept submissions that capture individual experiences, such as poems, photographs, audio recordings and other creative works.

“It would be especially helpful to share photographs of changes caused by the current situation, such as empty streets and shop windows indicating new conditions of businesses,” Flesher says. “Current donations include interviews of students reflecting on their futures after graduation, poetry and a photo of a quarantined teddy bear looking forlornly out a window.”

Project participants are required to provide permission to the AHC to preserve submissions and to provide public access to them. Participants can remain anonymous or even restrict public access to individual stories for five years. The AHC is unable to accept submissions with identifiable health information (HIPAA content).

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For more information about the project or individuals wishing to donate something beyond the scope of the survey, email Davis at [email protected] or AHC digital Archivist Rachel Gattermeyer at [email protected].

For more information, go to the AHC’s webpage; follow on Twitter; or use the hashtags #COVID19WY and #alwaysarchiving.

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