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COVID-19 has made for historic times across the world, and the South Dakota State Historical Society wants to document how the pandemic is affecting people in South Dakota.

South Dakotans are encouraged to submit their electronic writings, photos, artwork, short audio or video clips and other materials to the state historical society archives. A special digital submission page has been created on the state historical society website to make it easier for people to donate their items. Go to history.sd.gov/archives/covid19.aspx.  

“It is important to capture the ways we are experiencing this event, whether they be stories of loss and tragedy or stories of resilience, grace, and helpfulness,” state archivist Chelle Somsen said. “Future generations will thank you for sharing a part of your lives with them.” 

The historical society has collected items documenting South Dakota’s history since statehood in 1889. Everyday activities, life-changing events, triumphs and achievements are all recorded in the oral histories, newspaper articles, films, diaries, photographs, books and artifacts that make up the society’s collections.

“These items bring history to life and help students, scholars, historians and lawmakers understand our past and learn from it,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the state historical society. 

Vogt noted that despite the Cultural Heritage Center and the state archives in Pierre being closed to the public because of COVID-19, staff is still working - mostly at home - to collect, preserve, interpret and promote the history of the people of South Dakota.

For more information, contact the State Historical Society-Archives at 605-773-3804 or visit history.sd.gov/archives.