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East Tennessee History Center seeks stories about life in pandemic

Historians want your photographs, writings, journal entries, artwork and more.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — East Tennesseans are making history.

They're distancing themselves from loved ones, working from home, going to work as essential employees, or practicing other precautions. And local historians said future generations will want to know more. 

Historians at the East Tennessee History Center want to capture stories about life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Knox County Public Library is asking residents to reflect on their experiences for the historic record. 

Stories about the impact on family life, social life, and employment or school may be submitted through a form on the library's website (www.knoxlib.org). 

Historians are also seeking photographs, writings, recordings, artwork, and artifacts that illustrate this era. Of special interest are diaries and journals.

“More than a century later, these sources help us understand our past and present in meaningful ways,” said Adam H. Alfrey, senior curator at the Library’s East Tennessee History Center. 

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Alfrey continued: “By sharing current stories, experiences, and other impressions, we can document and preserve how life has been impacted over the past months. We can also chronicle how our region has come together to support one another.”

To date, people from 14 East Tennessee counties have submitted experiences. The project’s partner, the Museum of East Tennessee History, is evaluating what artifacts to collect from the pandemic.  

You can submit your story online using this electronic form: https://kcpl.wufoo.com/forms/p1jw66bd15noquo/

Credit: WBIR
The McClung Historical Collection is on the third floor of the East Tennessee History Center

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