What is the Missoula County COVID-19 project?

The Documenting COVID-19 in Missoula County Community Archive Project was initiated by Missoula County to capture in real time the way that individuals and entities across the county are responding to the coronavirus pandemic - so that we can learn from our experiences today, and provide a record of these experiences for use in the future.

The purpose of the project is to encourage agencies, organizations and individuals from across Missoula County to save and contribute documentation about their experiences during the pandemic, and to provide a mechanism for this documentation to be maintained and shared with and beyond the community.

We know that some agencies and entities already maintain their own records (for example, the City and County, the University of Montana, health care organizations, faith based groups, large businesses) and hope they will participate by proactively identifying and saving relevant documentation. For others, such as individuals and smaller community organizations, the University of Montana's Archives and Special Collections can serve as the main point for collecting and saving relevant materials. We recognize that some of the materials identified and collected may not be able to be made public immediately, but know that if we do not begin the collecting process now we may lose important information. Although the final point of public access to all documentation has not yet been determined, the goal is to bring all these materials together virtually in some way in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

The project is designed to accept just about any type of physical or digital material that helps to tell the story of how individuals, organizations, government entities and others acted and reacted before, during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

Examples of materials we'd like to add include, but are not limited to:

  • Photographs, such as of you working from home, empty shelves in stores, closed playgrounds and parks, people wearing home-made masks, messages of hope in windows, chalk drawings on sidewalks
  • Social media posts, such as from businesses announcing altered business models, groups formed in response to the pandemic, personal posts sharing life in quarantine
  • Video clips, such as of quiet streets or crowded trailheads, neighborhoods howling, social distancing
  • Diaries, blog posts or journal entries reflecting your experiences
  • Newsletters or email from a business sharing updates with employees or customers
  • Business records, such meeting minutes, budgets, notes from incident command teams, and continuity plans
  • Oral history interviews
  • Creative works, such as a song, poem, zine or short story
Really, just about any type of documentation can be contributed to the archive.

If you have questions about whether your content would be appropriate please contact us.

You can upload digital files through this form: https://www.lib.umt.edu/asc/covid-project.

If you wish to contribute physical materials please contact us at library.covidarchive@umontana.edu. We are not accepting physical contributions during the time that the Mansfield Library is closed due to the pandemic, but we can arrange a future transfer of materials.

Our online submission form will accept text documents, powerpoints, spreadsheets, pdfs, photos, audio and video in the following formats: .doc, .docx, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, .odf, .png, .pdf, .ppt, .mov., .mp3, .mp4, .jpeg, .tiff. File uploads are limited to 10 files. Each file is limited to 100 MB.

If you wish to contribute files in a different format, files that are larger than 100 MB, or physical materials please contact us at library.covidarchive@umontana.edu.

The submission form and our other donor forms require that you provide us with your name and e-mail address. This information will remain associated with the files and other contextual information you contribute. We will also use this information if we need to contact you about your submission for any reason. We may include your name on content we make available online or in person as part of this archive, but we will not share your e-mail address. We will not add you to mailing lists or otherwise share your contact information outside this project.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.

Yes, you can chose to restrict public access to the material you contribute for a period of years. Please contact us at library.covidarchive@umontana.edu to discuss options.

At this time the COVID-19 Community Archive Project is not accepting anonymous submissions. However you can restrict public access to the material you contribute for a period of years, and you can ask that your name not be made available to others. Please contact us at library.covidarchive@umontana.edu to discuss options.

Yes, you can submit material that is personal or confidential and needs to remain restricted for a period of years. Please contact us so that we can be sure we fully understand and can honor your expectations, and also to ensure that we have those expectations appropriately documented. Please know that we may be required to provide access to restricted contributions if we are presented with a subpoena by law enforcement.

We may still be able to add your content to this project even if you are not the creator of the content, are not sure if you are the copyright holder, or if you do not have the copyright holder's permission to contribute the content. Please contact us to discuss options.

The Documenting COVID-19 in Missoula County Community Archive Project is intended to gather and save the experiences of individuals who live, work or go to school in Missoula County, as well as the experiences of organizations based in or doing business in Missoula County in some way. If you fit into one or more of these categories we hope you will contribute to this project.

Archives and Special Collections at the University of Montana also seeks to document experiences across Western Montana, so if you have documentation about COVID-19 in Western Montana you'd like to discuss submitting please contact us. Your documentation may not become a part of the Missoula County COVID-19 project, but it could still be preserved by Archives and Special Collections and made available for future research.

The Montana Historical Society has established a state-wide Montana COVID-19 Archive Survey for adults and a Montana COVID-19 Student Survey. If you are in or from Missoula County you are welcome to contribute to both the Montana Historical Society and to the Documenting COVID-19 in Missoula County Community Archive Project.