By Jessica Smith, Digital Processing Archivist, North Park University Brandel Library
The F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections at North Park University is launching an online portal to collect and document the variety of ways in which the campus community is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are inviting North Park University students, faculty, and staff to submit pictures, artworks, voice recordings, short movies, text, or other means of expression that document how they have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are responding to it. Submissions can be made via any virtual device and contributors will have the option to remain anonymous.
University campuses around the world have been forced to adapt, in a very short period of time, to a fully online format. North Park University moved all 2020 Spring classes online, employees are working remotely, and the Spring 2020 Commencement ceremony has been postponed. We hope this project, the North Park Community Responses to COVID-19, will help unite the campus community while lifting morale during these shared uncertain times.
Andy Meyer, Director of Archives and Special Collections, and Jessica Smith, Digital Processing Archivist, will process these digital records into the archive’s archival content management system. For some items, we plan on uploading them to a digital collection using the archive’s digital collection platform, CONTENTdm, so that the North Park community and other researchers can view the materials. Soliciting born-digital records from the public extends the existing mission of the Archives more fully into the digital era. The North Park University Archives has historically collected correspondence, minutes, and reports of various University departments, administrative offices, and committees, as well as personal papers of early leaders and publications by the University and North Park authors. While the Archives still enthusiastically collects, preserves, and provides access to these records, this rapid digital processing project will continue this mission and has forced us to innovate by developing new standards and workflows for processing digital material.
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