Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives Partners with CLA for NEH Grant

Jul 10, 2020

The Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives project focusing on documenting COVID-19 experiences will be able to go a little further in partnership with CLA faculty.

In early April 2020, the Kathryn A. Martin Library Archivists, Aimee Brown and Shana Aue, initiated the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archives Project aimed to document and preserve this surreal Coronavirus pandemic. These individual and community contributions will provide an important historical resource for faculty to utilize in teaching as a reference for life during the pandemic. The collection will also be open to the public and will be a valuable resource for the wider community to learn about and research this time in history.

The COVID-19 archiving project is ongoing and community members are encouraged to continue contributing their experiences, photos, and other materials now and after the pandemic ends.  More information about the project and how to contribute is available here: https://libguides.d.umn.edu/covid-19.

In June 2020 Aue and Brown received news of a welcome addition to the project. In collaboration with two UMD CLA professors, they had been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities CARES grant in the amount of  $175,745. Devaleena Das, assistant professor in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and David Beard, professor of rhetoric, applied for the grant and will provide project and grant management.  

Through the grant project, humanities professionals who have lost income due to COVID-19 will be hired to collect and create content for the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19 Community Archive Project. This content will include oral history interviews with a diverse pool of community members, supporting materials, and creative works conceptualized by the grant employees. The grant will provide employment for 14 individuals and will be in an open-access digital archive through the Library. 

According to an article by NEH, “for the highly competitive NEH CARES grant category, the Humanities Endowment received more than 2,300 eligible applications from cultural organizations requesting more than $370 million in funding for projects between June and December 2020. Approximately 14 percent of the applicants were funded.” UMD’s CLA program was one of those lucky recipients. 

You can learn more about the grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities website.

[Image source] Photograph by Amy Broadmoore, April 1, 2020. Congdon Elementary School, Duluth, MN. This image is part of the Northeastern Minnesota COVID-19Community Archives Project