Recording History in the Making in a COVID-19 World

Esme Galvan, Senior Writer

The Special Collections and University Archives at Texas A&M University-Commerce is currently accepting submissions for a new project focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Titled “Close Quarters: Capturing the Impact of COVID-19 in East Texas,” the project is focused on recording the history of how East Texas residents have dealt with the pandemic through their eyes. 

Submissions are open for the A&M-Commerce community and for residents of the following East Texas counties; Bowie, Camp, Cass, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Hopkins, Hunt, Marion, Morris, Rains, Smith, Titus, Van Zandt and Wood. Contributors must be at least 18 years old to submit materials.

In enforcing preventative measures, no physical submissions will be accepted. Submissions are entirely digital through Google Forms: although only one item can be submitted at a time, there is no limit in submitting as many forms as desired. There is a submission size limit of 100 MB. Submissions will become accessible after review and processing by Special Collections and University Archives staff. 

Possible submissions can include photographs, digital artwork, video diaries, personal journal entries, interviews and social media posts.

Some submission ideas from the Special Collections website are: 

  • What was your initial reaction to the start of the pandemic?  How did you react to decisions made by the government, university, or business where you work?
  • What is daily life like for you now? How has your daily routine changed?
  • How have you adapted to work or class changes during this time?  How has this affected you and your family?
  • How has your use of technology changed since the start of the pandemic?
  • How are you staying in touch with family and friends? Is it different than before the pandemic began?  How have they been affected?
  • What sources are you using to keep track of new information coming out about the virus?  Are you seeking out new information or attempting to avoid it?
  • What is something new you are working on/attempting while spending more time at home than usual?
  • What community changes (grocery restrictions, restaurant and other social location closures) have affected you the most?
  • What have been your biggest concerns regarding the pandemic or its aftermath?
  • What types of changes will happen moving forward after the pandemic ends?
  • What would you want future generations to know about this period in history? What advice would you have for future generations?
  • What is something you are thankful for during this time?

For questions about the project, contact Sawyer Magnus at [email protected] or Laura Adams at [email protected].

For more information on “Close Quarters” and the Google Form link, visit the Special Collections Website: