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IC community invited to share experience during historic time

4.01.2020

A new project aims to unite Illinois College students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, who have been separated by social distancing, through their collective stories.

We are physically separated from one another during this moment in history, but our stories are still connected. Collecting and sharing our campus community's stories during this unprecedented period — one that impacts us locally and globally — will bring us together in a significant way.
Samantha Sauer, Archivist, Curator and Assistant Professor of History

Samantha Sauer, archivist for IC’s Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives, curator of the Paul Findley Congressional Office Museum and assistant professor of history, will lead the effort and invite community members to “Archive your Story.” Anyone with a connection to the College can get involved by sharing journal entries, recordings, writings and other documents to be shared with the historians of tomorrow.

“We are physically separated from one another during this moment in history,” Sauer said. “But our stories are still connected. Collecting and sharing our campus community's stories during this unprecedented period — one that impacts us locally and globally — will bring us together in a significant way.”

The Office of Marketing and Communication will also collaborate by helping share community stories immediately through social media and the College website, which can be later archived.

Public history students will gain hands-on experience documenting a crisis situation as they work remotely to compile records for the archives. Students will also lead an oral history project which will allow contributors to record their stories in their own voice. 

“For many people, sharing their stories is empowering. It can serve as an opportunity to discover their voice and reflect on their experiences. It’s also a chance to help shape the historical record of Illinois College,” Sauer added.  

Suggested ways to contribute to the project include:

  • Compiling journal entries about day-to-day experiences. Whether you are a nurse treating sick patients, a grocery store employee, restaurant owner, student, parent -- the list goes on -- we hope to hear from you. A wide range of experiences will help us create rich resources that illustrate the widespread effect of the pandemic on campus life. 
  • Write an essay or other response about your experience. This can take whatever creative form you choose. 
  • Take pictures to document your experience. Document your home workspace, take a picture of something that has changed in your life or how you are staying connected or helping others. 
  • Speak up for the heroes you see. Share stories about others who have helped you or are making a difference in the community. Send a quick email or Facebook message to the College letting us know the stories in the IC community that interest you.
  • Contact us to share your ideas. This project is a collaborative effort. If you have story ideas or want to contribute something unique, please contact us. 

Anyone interested in learning more can email archiveyourstory@ic.edu

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit www.ic.edu or call 217.245.3467 for more information.

Media Contact Information
Office of Marketing and Communication
Amy Jones
Assistant Director of Marketing and Communication
217.836.8850