UTA Libraries archivists work to preserve digital, physical documentation of COVID-19's impact

Onoghe Aidoghie, nurse practitioner graduate student, exits the Central Library on Jan. 19 during the first day of classes. 

Kathryn Slover, UTA Libraries digital archivist, got married in Sept. 2020. She recorded the ceremony for her family who couldn’t attend because of travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, Slover is considering donating her wedding video to a special university collection that seeks to document the pandemic and its impact on the community.

UTA Libraries archivists are asking UTA and local communities to donate stuff they’ve acquired through the pandemic for future researchers.

Priscilla Escobedo, UTA Libraries special collections archivist, said the collection is important because it will serve as resources to educate people on how the community lived through the pandemic.

“We want to preserve not only the historical nature of this event, but also the personal nature of this event,” Escobedo said. “And we feel like with this project, we can really do both.”

Archivists are compiling both digital and physical materials.

They have collected 91 digital items such as blog posts and audio files from UTA radio. The department has also received physical donations such as face masks and a letter from a former UTA staff’s doctor.

Slover said the library has been working to boost its digital preservation for the project. And the library wants to make these resources accessible for research in the future.

Michael Barera, UTA libraries university and labor archivist, said a common way for people to donate is by sending photographs of everyday life during the pandemic.

The department encourages people to donate and does not restrict the types of donation items, Barera said. They also encourage people to volunteer for interviews to share their stories during the pandemic.

Visit here to learn more about the project.

@TaylorAC13

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