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Library seeks community's help to document COVID-19 changes to daily life

UNG's Special Collections & Archives is seeking help from the UNG community and others in Northeast Georgia to document the changes to daily life due to COVID-19. An exhibit is planned, and the collection will help future generations see the impact of the pandemic.

Window visits with elderly family members, children as "co-workers," Zoom meetings, and socially distant birthday celebrations mark a few of the ways life has changed since public health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread in mid-March.

These are exactly the type of slice-of-life stories the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Special Collections & Archives is seeking to compile from UNG students, faculty, staff, alumni, and fellow Northeast Georgia community members as part of its "Documenting COVID-19 in Northeast Georgia" effort. Officially launched May 20, the campaign's goal is to form an exhibit while building a collection that can let future generations know how COVID-19 changed life in the region.

Joy Bolt, dean of libraries at UNG, said part of the impetus for the project came when she and Allison Galloup, special collection and digital initiatives librarian, sought documents related to the 1918 flu pandemic.

"We were both somewhat surprised to find little in our collection on the subject," Bolt said. "This is one reason why we thought it was important for us to collect information about the experiences of our Northeast Georgia community for future scholars and researchers. It will be there when people want to look back on this time and see how things were for so many of us."

To submit your story, use the library's collection form and upload your file or email it to

Galloup knows many people will wonder if their items are needed or worth sending. She has a simple message.

"Nothing is too mundane to share. We cannot do this without the community's help. While there may be similarities in all of our stories, each person's experience and perspective is unique," Galloup said. "We're asking you to share whatever you'd like, in whatever format you'd like. Those who would like to participate can submit videos, voice recordings, scans, photographs, or text documents."

She said the library is seeking the types of stories, images and videos people are already sharing on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.

Galloup looks forward to gathering the stories.

"So much of our world and daily life changed almost overnight," Galloup said. "We want to know how our friends and neighbors responded to these monumental changes."

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Please note that some of the images and videos on our site may have been taken before social distancing, face coverings and restricted gatherings were required.

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