Newton Gresham Library is seeking personal compositions from the Huntsville community for the Sam Houston State University Archive of 2020. The archive is aimed at documenting the experiences that have impacted individuals throughout the year.
Pieces that are submitted will be used to help illustrate what life was like in the community living through events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the heightened visibility of Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death and any other memorable event that happened in 2020, Access Services Coordinator and Scholarly Communications Librarian Erin Owens said.
Owens said the library is taking many different types of submissions and described what they are looking for.
“We welcome submissions of all types: any materials that an individual believes will capture their experience and help to paint a picture,” Owens said. “This could include personal narratives and journal entries, letters, poems, songs, photographs, video, audio, drawings and paintings or other artwork and so forth. Even a receipt from buying masks and hand sanitizer could serve as an enlightening primary document for a historian in the future.”
Anyone in the community is welcome to submit to the archive. It is open to students, faculty and staff as well as all residents of the surrounding community.
Submissions, along with a short description about the item submitted, can be uploaded online at https://shsulibraryguides.org/2020archive.
Owens wants future generations to be able to see what it was like living through the challenges of 2020 by having the archives to look back on.
“My son is currently two and a half years old, and although he is living through all of this, he won’t really remember it,” Owens said. “But someday I expect him to learn about the COVID-19 pandemic in school and ask me, ‘Mom, what was it like?’ I want my son and all our future community members to be able to pull up this collection and learn what we experienced and how we felt during 2020.”
The library has not set a firm deadline for submissions. Materials will be accepted at least through the end of 2020 and possibly into early 2021.
“If someone has a valuable contribution, we don’t want an arbitrary deadline to stand in the way of it being included,” Owens said.
The library will host everything in a publicly accessible online collection on the Newton Gresham Library website.
For more information about the SHSU archive of 2020 contact Newton Gresham Library at 936-294-1614 or Library@shsu.edu.