Community History in Minnesota during a Pandemic: What Comes Next?

  • Adam Smith (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
  • Daardi Sizemore Mixon (Minnesota State University, Mankato)
  • Rebecca Ebnet Desens (Anoka County Historical Society)
  • Jenna Jacobs (Hennepin County Library)


Three Minnesota cultural heritage organizations developed distinctly different community history projects to document the COVID-19 Pandemic. Anoka County Historical Society distributed monthly surveys asking questions relevant to the community at the time while encouraging the public to submit documentation for the archives. Hennepin County Library rapidly expanded its nascent web archiving program to capture websites of Minneapolis and suburban community organizations affected by and responding to the pandemic. Minnesota State University, Mankato developed a community history project that incorporated the international student experience to explore how our students and their families responded to the pandemic throughout the summer.

This presentation will discuss the logistics of how they organized and conducted their community history projects and next steps for those collections. Presenters will discuss processing primarily born digital materials and making the collections available for researchers while navigating privacy issues to protect contributors. Each of these projects has spawned innovative thinking along with contributing to new directions and partnerships for the organizations including an emphasis on social justice initiatives.

How to Cite:

Smith, A., Sizemore Mixon, D., Ebnet Desens, R. & Jacobs, J., (2021) “Community History in Minnesota during a Pandemic: What Comes Next?”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2021(1).



Published on
13 May 2021
Community History in Minnesota during a Pandemic: What Comes Next?