HSU Launches “Humboldt in the Time of COVID” Project

Now is your chance to tell your story about life during the coronavirus pandemic.

Faculty from Humboldt State University, in collaboration with HSU’s Library Special Collections and the Center for Community Based Learning, are working on a project to document experiences of the local community during COVID19. Recognizing the historic nature of the current moment, faculty from several departments—including History, Journalism, Religious Studies, International Studies, Art History, Sociology and Business—will begin this fall overseeing the work of students in capturing accounts from our campus and local community. The project is called “Humboldt in the Time of COVID19.”

“This is going to be a living archive of sorts,” says Suzanne Pasztor, History Department Chair , one of the project creators. “Materials will be preserved so that future generations will have a record of this remarkable time.”

Dozens of students from various academic disciplines will participate in the community-based learning project, gathering stories, oral histories, artistic works, and other materials to be included in the archive. Individual community members as well as businesses, nonprofits, community groups, faith-based organizations, schools, local government, and social service providers are encouraged to contribute their stories about their personal and professional experiences during COVID19.

The archive will be housed online on HSU’s Library Special Collections website. “We’ve already received poems from one local group and we are expecting many more contributions from the community as well as from our HSU students,” says Carly Marino, Special Collections Librarian.

The Clarke Museum is one of the project’s community partners.

“The project provides a space to display the work undertaken by students, faculty, staff and community partners, which document these pivotal times that have left marks on our individual, local, regional and national histories,” said Katie Buesch, Clarke Museum interim director.

Here are some of the questions that the COVID19 stories may seek to answer: How has your local business navigated the pandemic? What choices and challenges has your faith-based organization had to contend with? How has the pandemic affected your nonprofit? What have been the consequences of the pandemic for those who provide social services in our community? What has been the effect of the pandemic on the homeless and those who serve them? What unique challenges have faced local government agencies and how have any of these challenges changed the way our community has functioned?

Share your story and allow our students to interview you for this project or consider submitting your own works (poems, prose, graphic arts or other related materials). For more information, contact project leaders Pasztor (sp49@humboldt.edu) or Marino (Carly.Marino@humboldt.edu).