Missoula County COVID-19 Documentation Project

The Missoula County COVID-19 Documentation Project was designed to document the Missoula community’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project emerged from an ad hoc group of local organizations in the spring of 2020, including the UM History Department, the Mansfield Library Archives & Special Collection department, the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula, Missoula County government, the Upper Swan Valley Historical Society and several other organizations.

Missoula County government ultimately secured funding for an intensive period of collection of both oral histories and archival materials. The grant-funded project was coordinated by UM History department professor Leif Fredrickson with the help of UM history major Maddie Hagan. Professor Fredrickson also conducted all of the oral histories. The grant-funded portion of the project concluded in early 2023. The University of Montana’s Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collection organized and continues to administer the collection in Preservica, a digital preservation and access platform. Explore the project at the Missoula County COVID-19 Documentation Project website.

The project sought (and seeks) to create a rich collection of sources that can enhance understanding of what is likely to be one of the most important historical events of the 21st century. The Missoula County COVID-19 Documentation Project was one of the best-funded and most intensive projects designed to collect important historical materials related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, the project was awarded a national Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.

June 6, 2020 poster created to spread the word in the community about the opportunity to submit stories and other materials to the MCCD project. (Credit: Cheryl Thompson).