Capturing Local History: The 2020 Project

About the 2020 Project

The Coralville Digital History Library would like to invite the local community to join us in documenting and preserving this unprecedented and historic time. By working together and sharing our experiences during this year, we can create a time capsule of images, videos, personal reflections, and official statements and documents for future generations to look back on and learn from. 

There is often a sense that archives are meant to preserve only the experiences of the famous or well to-do: political leaders, military officers, entertainers, and the like. This is simply not true. The history of the everyday - photographs of a family spending time together, a hastily written shopping list, a manager’s journal entry reflecting on the day’s activities, a note between friends - is what researchers often use to understand what life looked like during a certain time period. 

We hope you will help us capture this today for the sake of tomorrow - from everything that seems ordinary and mundane to what seems overwhelming and extraordinary, from snapshots of connection and community to feelings of isolation, and from the recognition of fear and uncertainty to the moments of joy and love.

Ideas for donations:

When thinking of what to document or preserve, we encourage you to ask yourself the following question: What would a future historian need to see in order for that person to understand what living through this time was like?

Some ideas could include:

  • Photographs
  • Journal entries or letters
  • Newspaper articles
  • Audio histories (.mp3 requested)
  • Videos (.mov requested)
  • City or state proclamations

While we tried to keep our suggestions broad, we also encourage you to think beyond these bullet points. Everyone has a unique perspective on life, and what we see will not be the same as what you see. It’s important to save as many viewpoints as possible in order to create a complete historical picture!

DONATE here:

2020 Local History Project

A signed Gift Agreement is neccesary to make donations public. You can either email us a completed form at digitalhistory@coralville.org or mail one to us at the following address:

Coralville Public Library

1401 5th Street

Coralville, IA 52241

If you would like us to mail you a blank Gift Agreement, please either email us or call (319) 248-1850 to let us know your mailing address. 

Once we receive your signed agreement, we'll add you items or story to the public collection.

You can donate as many items and writings as you would like, though we do ask you remember this is an educational resource open to the public. Not all items may be accepted into the collection, at discretion of the curator.

Please email any questions you may have to digitalhistory@coralville.org.

Thank you for your interest in this project. We look forward to documenting and preserving local history with you!