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Life in the Time of Covid-19: Stories from the Misericordia University Community

The Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle University Archives at Misericordia University, in collaboration with the Department of History & Government and the Honors Program, aims to record and preserve the personal experiences of Misericordia University students, faculty, staff, and alumni during the Covid-19 outbreak. This is an historic moment, and we want to hear from you.  

The Archives is collaborating with Dr. Jennifer Black's Public History students and the Department of History & Government to support this project and host a speaker series. For more information visit: MU Local History Projects.


Nearly one hundred years ago, the first students at College Misericordia crossed the threshold of what is now Mercy Hall.  The students entering in the fall of 1924 had already experienced much in their young lives.  Born just after the turn of the 20th century, those young women were only in elementary school when the Great War began in Europe. They likely saw their brothers, fathers, cousins, and neighbors get drafted or volunteer to fight overseas. On the home front, schools, theatres, and restaurants closed in an attempt to curb the 1918 influenza outbreak. The 1920s brought substantial social changes, particularly for women. The first Misericordia students’ lives were forever changed by these far-reaching events.  

In 2020, we are also experiencing history in the making. Rarely do we have the insight to understand that the events we are experiencing will be so historically important for future generations.  We have an incredible opportunity to reflect upon our current situation--the economic and cultural effects of the pandemic and quarantine, the social tensions that the lock-downs have precipitated, and the ongoing injustices that began to reach a boiling point this summer--and preserve these experiences for posterity. 

The University’s official responses and activities are being collected and archived in the University Archives, but we also want to document the experiences of the campus community.  In particular, we want to hear from first-year students. The Class of 2024 will be our centenary class. You are entering college at one of the most challenging times in the past 100 years. Your stories deserve to be told.

This project aims to collect, preserve, and make publicly accessible materials created by members of the Misericordia University community that document their experiences during the Covid-19 global pandemic. Submissions may take a variety of forms and genres (such as letters, personal reflections, born-digital artwork, oral histories, blog or diary entries, social media posts, photographs, video/audio). Serving the mission of the Sister Mary Carmel McGarigle University Archives to collect and preserve the history and culture of Misericordia University, this project contributes to Misericordia and Northeastern Pennsylvania’s long history of focusing on medicine and educating students in health sciences professions. 

Please read carefully the Frequently Asked Questions and Policies sections before submitting to this project. Participants can submit information about their donations via this form. If you have questions, please contact University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Maureen Cech at mcech[at]misericordia[dot]edu or 570-674-6420. 
 

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 This project has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities CARES grant, “Humanities in the Time of COVID-19: Fostering Community Dialogue,” Award Number: AH-274885-20

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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National Endowment for the Humanities seal