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Allina Migoni, Reference Librarian, American Folklife Center
Douglas D. Peach, Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center
Created: May 12, 2023
Last Updated: May 12, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic created many changes in American society: previously unimaginable devastation and loss of life; advances in technology and media to meet humanity's need for connection; physical and geospatial changes as people quarantined; and social and psychological changes as humanity grappled with the "new normal."
These changes also inspired many Americans to document their experiences with COVID-19. Since March 2020, thousands of people have contacted the Library of Congress to learn how to document their lives and for resources to understand this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. In early 2023, Congress recognized the importance of this documentation by passing the COVID-19 American History Project. The bill tasks the Library of Congress to “record, collect, and keep the stories of Americans impacted by the pandemic."
This research guide is a response to this Congressional mandate and the public’s interest. The guide provides links to COVID-19 collections within the Library of Congress and to online collections outside of the Library. These resources provide an expansive view into Americans’ experiences to life in a pandemic. This research guide also links to StoryCorps—a resource to document your own story, or to record the experiences of another, with COVID-19. In summary, this guide provides historical perspectives on American life, and an opportunity to document contemporary experiences, as COVID-19 transitions from a pandemic to an endemic in the United States.