September Brown Bag/Local Lore program “Capturing COVID”
We are living during a very unique time as we all struggle to adjust to life during COVID. For months, the DeKalb County History Center, NIU Regional Archives and Sycamore Public Library have encouraged residents to share stories and record their experiences. While the collecting process is not over, the DeKalb County History Center and Ellwood House’s September 3 Brown Bag/Local Lore program will include samples of materials that have been collected as well as some insight from May Ellwood has she experienced life during the Spanish Flu.
“Oftentimes people don’t think that their ordinary lives are an important part of a community’s history, and that is wrong. I see this program as a great opportunity to share some examples that people have submitted since March that will inspire others to participate,” explained Michelle Donahoe, Executive Director of the DeKalb County History Center. She continued, “There is very little local information that we have about the Spanish Flu in 1918, we are working hard to ensure that won’t happen for 2020’s stories.”
Donations to document life during COVID-19 can include written narratives, videos, audio clips, journal, artwork, small objects, and ephemera. The Regional History Center at NIU has also created a questionnaire that will allow future historians to compare stories from the surrounding 18 communities, while the DeKalb County History Center and Sycamore Public Library have a more local focus. The Brown Bag/Local Lore program will include personal reflections, photos, poems, and objects from children and adults.
The Brown Bag/Local Lore program will be held via Zoom meeting. Registration is free, but required. To sign up email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the DeKalb County History Center with any questions at 815-895-5762.
Photo: This photo by Karen Grubb is one sample of the materials donated to the DeKalb County History Center’s “COVID Collecting Initiative.”