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The National Czech and Slovak Museum and UI Libraries launch projects to document life during COVID-19


National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, 1400 Inspiration Place SW. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

The National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library (NCSML) and the University of Iowa Libraries are looking to document what Iowans are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NCSML is preparing to create two projects. The first is a time capsule, and the second will document stories of life during the pandemic through social media updates, letters and journal entries.

“It is so important for us to capture these stories, artifacts and memorabilia from this pandemic so that future generations can learn from this moment in time,” NCSML President and CEO Cecilia Rokusek said in a news release.

“We hope to use the information we collect for future programs about resilience, dedication, patience, sacrifice, and coping.”

Individuals with physical memorabilia — including photographs, news clippings and signage — who want to put an item in the time capsule should email NCSML’s facilities director Grant Smith at gsmith@ncsml.org. Smith can also answer any questions about the time capsule.

Library director Dave Muhlena is collecting writings for the story project. He can be reached at dmuhlena@ncsml.org.

The University Archives in the University of Iowa Libraries is also collecting digital documentation, including journal entries, photographs, videos, voice memos and audio recordings to preserve the story of life during the pandemic. The department is especially interested in hearing from individuals part of the UI community about how campus or work experience has been impacted.

There is an online form for submissions, as well as a questionnaire that can be used as a starting point.

Anyone with questions or wanting to donate a physical item can email lib-spec@uiowa.edu.


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