Message from the Director – COVID-19 Letters

Dear Friends,

The Nevada Historical Society is here to support you and our community. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, we see people, news reporters, and government leaders turn to history and public institutions to consult records, photographs, oral histories, journals—the historic record—for guidance.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in a number of challenges; one I hear so often is how do we stay connected and rooted in community while practicing social distancing for the time being?

You can be part of the answer to this question and document history in the making. The Nevada Historical Society (NHS) would like you to help record the first-hand impact coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on you, your family, and our community. We will keep these letters in our research library collections for everyone to access, as well as make as many of them available on our website.

You are living the history that the NHS preserves—now and for the future generations.
Documenting your experiences can help provide guidance, reassurance, and resources now and for our future community leaders and members. We ask you to share your experiences with us and your neighbors—as a way to stay in touch with each other, express our gratitude, and as a way to write down our feelings, stories, and moments of bravery during these uncertain times.

We are lucky to be able to stay connected through technology, but sometimes, pen and paper is best—it is, of course, the letters, journals, scrapbooks, and photographs that have survived in our archives and library collections for over 100 years that students, educators, researchers, authors, filmmakers, and many more use each day as they discover stories from our past.

So we’re asking you: what stories of Nevada’s from the past or present are giving you courage? How are you spending your days in this strange new “normal?” What have you learned about yourself, your friends, and your family that gives you strength amidst chaos?

Please, send us a letter or email to add to the historical record, so future generations of Nevadans will know what these days were really like. Our mail is being opened once a week, and while your message won’t be read as quickly as it once would have been, your letter will be waiting for you in the NHS Research Library collection.

Let’s use this as a time to rest, take care of ourselves and each other, and learn something new about the place we call home. The Nevada Historical Society has been a part of this community for over 116 years – and we will still be here when we can all gather back together again.

Here is a link to our online form to make sharing your history with COVID-19 even easier.


Catherine Magee, PhD
Director, Nevada Historical Society