June 23, 2020

Reuther Library launches “Community Archive: COVID-19 Experiences”

The Walter P. Reuther Library wants to hear about the Detroit community’s experiences during COVID-19.

The Detroit area has been hit hard by the virus: Black Detroiters face higher mortality rates than the U.S. average, and workers represented by our partner unions have lost jobs or confront risks as essential workers. The Reuther is committed to ensuring that the voices of Detroiters, union workers and the Wayne State community are not lost to future researchers.

The Reuther asks for your help in building a series of community-driven archival collections documenting how the people of Wayne State University, metropolitan Detroit and the Michigan labor movement responded to COVID-19.

Important contributions might show:

  • Social distancing during reopening efforts
  • Signs thanking essential workers or requiring masks, social distancing, or other regulations
  • Empty grocery store shelves or limits on purchases
  • Scenes outside of hospitals and care facilities
  • Groups of people wearing masks or socializing at a distance

Louis Jones, Ph.D., field archivist, explains, “Unlike most other important historical moments of the 21st century, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has piercing and far-reaching global implications that will forever remain a part of our collective memory. As with the rest of the world, it has impacted metropolitan Detroit, Wayne State University and Michigan’s labor movement.”

Collecting these materials now will allow future generations to interpret history firsthand and to create meaningful articles, documentaries, school lessons and more.

Please visit reuther.wayne.edu/COVID-19 to learn more and contribute.

The Reuther Library is the largest labor archives in North America, its collection strengths extend to the political and community life of urban and metropolitan Detroit, the civil rights movement in Michigan and nationally, and women's struggles in the workplace, and the archives of Wayne State University.

Contact

Louis Jones,
Phone: (313) 577-0263
Email: aa1755@wayne.edu