Collecting COVID-19 Stories

The Norfolk Public Library is joining the Elkhorn Valley Museum in efforts to preserve stories and artifacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Elkhorn Valley Museum started collecting artifacts in mid-June as part of its “History in the Making” initiative. The Norfolk Public Library is now joining them to help make sure the story of this year’s pandemic is preserved for future generations. The joint goal of both organizations is to document all aspects of the crisis, including the heroic efforts of healthcare and other essential workers, the experiences of the sick, the effects on businesses, schools, churches, and cultural groups, and the creativity borne of isolation. People interested in contributing artifacts and stories have two ways to participate.

 Physical items and artifacts can be donated or loaned to the Elkhorn Valley Museum. Some examples of items that would be beneficial to the museum include diaries, lists, photographs, food-delivery menus, apartment-building notices, and business or neighborhood flyers. Drawings, paintings, collages, or other works of art created during and inspired by the pandemic are also welcome. If anyone has an item that they believe is worth preserving, please contact the Elkhorn Valley Museum at 402-371-3886 or to begin the donation process. A museum exhibit will be planned for display once the pandemic is over.

 Digital items can be contributed to the Norfolk Public Library’s Digital Archive. Some examples of items that would be beneficial to the digital archive include emails, electronic flyers, digital journal entries, and digital photographs. If anyone has material to contribute to the digital archive, they can email it, along with accompanying description and context to These digital files will be collected along with news articles on COVID-19 and be turned into a digital archive that will be available for future generations.