University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

UWM Archive Processes 700+ COVID-19 History Items, Seeks More


By - Sep 8th, 2020 07:23 pm

The COVID-19 MKE Archive has already processed over 700 items from more than 250 contributors, but they’re looking for more. Developed by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Public History Program, the COVID-19 MKE Archive aims to document how the Milwaukee area is experiencing the Coronavirus pandemic. After more than four months of collecting photographs, videos, and social media posts, the project recently published nearly two dozen exhibits and seventeen oral histories. All of the contributions can be seen at: 

Assistant Professor of Public History Christopher D. Cantwell, who started the project, says he hopes the community continues to share their stories. “The majority of the items on the site reflect the moment when the world shut down this spring,” Cantwell said. “We hope to start collecting material that shows how the greater Milwaukee area has begun to reopen.” Cantwell said they are especially interested in photographs that show how businesses are social distancing, videos that illustrate the “new normal,” and personal reflections on living amidst historic times. All contributions can be made on the site at

The importance of the archive is noted by Ann Hanlon, who is the head of digital collections and initiatives at UWM’s library and helped develop the site. “We’re very conscious that we’re living through a period where what was routine has been upended in sometimes subtle and oftentimes not so subtle ways,” Hanlon said. “The COVID-19 MKE Archive provides a space to document those ruptures as experienced by anyone who wants to contribute.”  

For more information about COVID-19 MKE Archive, visit or contact Chris Cantwell at

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