Historical research has been hampered by closures of archives and libraries

Published: Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 6:26pm
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The pandemic made life difficult for restaurants, bars and retailers. But it has also affected researchers.

Historians use a variety of sources in their work — newspapers, books and academic journals. Some of it is available online.

But much of their work involves poring through massive collections of documents, microfilm or out-of-print books, and COVID-19 shut down archives, libraries and museums where these items are stored.

Arizona historian Heidi Osselaer says many of them have been slow to reopen.

“And so most of the archives are open only a couple hours a day, and by appointment only,” Osselaer said.

She says that some collections have been able to respond to the shutdown in creative ways.

ASU, for example, recently acquired a large collection of online books.

Arizona History