IC Announces “Archive Your Story” Community History Project

By Benjamin Cox on April 7, 2020 at 9:49am

Illinois College is asking the community to help document history as it is being made in this unprecedented time. The new project, entitled “Archive Your Story,” is asking anyone with connections to the college to get involved by sharing journal entries, recordings, writings and other documents with the history department about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samantha Sauer, archivist and curator at Illinois College, says the project will bring the college’s community together despite everyone being separated for the moment. “I think for many of us, each day is different in different ways; and we are all physically separated from one another at this time, but our stories can really connect us. We’re inviting individuals to share with us journal entries, photographs, artwork, poetry, and music. These contributions can be compiled by hand or digitially and then donated to the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives at a later date. All of these materials and records will serve as part of our college’s record for this period for historians of tomorrow.”

The Office of Marketing and Communication will also collaborate by helping share community stories immediately through social media and the College website, which can later be archived. Sauer says public history students will gain hands-on experience documenting a crisis situation. Sauer says that a separate oral history project will be done at a later time and more details will be released soon. She says for now they will be using remote technology to work on the Archive Your Story project. “They will be doing public history remotely by using available digital platforms and resources to really interact with individuals wherever they are.”

Anyone interested in participating or requesting more information can contact Sauer at 245-3595 or via email at samantha.sauer@ic.edu. Sauer says you can also email material and questions to archiveyourstory@ic.edu.