What Is The Living Archives?

Living Archives is three-year initiative to gather, preserve and share local histories—stories, documents, visual imagery and memories—about the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Black, Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous and other minority communities in Mecklenburg County. The Library will act as a convener, partner, and project guide, leveraging our community trust and reach to bring residents into the project.

To make sure that no one’s COVID story is lost, mis-represented or ignored, these narratives will add critical context to our shared history and build a rich archive for future generations as we work toward a more equitable future.

Combining education, the arts, community engagement, leadership development and the power of co-created, grassroots knowledge, the project will put documentary storytelling tools into the hands of neighborhood residents to capture experiences across Mecklenburg County. Long-term, the stories and materials collected through the Living Archive Project will be open-sourced and shared through exhibits, digitally interactive experiences, performances, town meetings and other means that promote ongoing collaboration.

Essential Workers' Stories

Courage Born of Caring: Robert Merriwether, RN

The Choice  He woke up alone in a hotel room in NYC with a fever of 99.2 degrees. Not a big ugly deal — under normal circumstances. But on that spring day in 2020, normal circumstances were mere memories. Robert Merriwether had left family and home behind in Charlotte to serve as a registered nurse at…
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Ruby Red Welcome

Three huge ruby red rose bushes welcome everybody to the West Boulevard Library. They’ve never met a careful gardener, but they thrive anyway. No matter what. You can always count on them.   Today is the kind of…
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Caring for the Community: Joshua Fernandez

Compare Foods is the kind of supermarket that knows its customers inside out and thrives away from the wealthier parts of our city. It’s part of a local, family-owned company. As I pick up my cart, the security guard gives me…
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COVID Conversations

The Living Archives Project Would Like To Thank Its Partners:


Charlotte Mecklenburg Library  received an American Rescue Plan Humanities Grant from North Carolina Humanities, www.nchumanities.org. Funding for this grant was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act economic stabilization plan.

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