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Michael J. Spinelli, Jr. Center for University Archives and Special Collections

Robert Frost


Photo and mask courtesy of Professor Lourdes Aviles, Meteorology, April 2020.



PSU COVID-19 Stories

Spinelli Archives is launching a special initiative to collect stories of this unique time in history and how it is affecting the lives of PSU students, staff, faculty, and alumni.

There is very little in the University Archives about how the Spanish Influenza outbreak affected life at Plymouth Normal School in 1918. We would like to leave a better record for our future PSU community.

We want to get a sense of how the PSU community is carrying on with studies, research, work, and life, as well as how you’re feeling throughout this period. You may choose to use the following prompts to guide the process:

  • Name, Academic Year, Areas of Study, Workplaces, other Campus Involvement
  • What did you do over Spring Break? Did you have to change plans in any way?
  • What was your immediate reaction to finding out you would not be returning to campus?
  • Share your experience/s with online teaching and learning.
  • Are you able to work from home?
  • How has the transition affected you and your family?
  • What has it been like to teach from home?
  • How has it been to help your children while they learn online?
  •  Are you at home with family?
  • Are you alone?
  • Are you working in an essential industry?
  • Where are you physically located now? If on campus, what is it like being here at this time?
  • How has your routine changed?
  • Have you taken photos of the empty campus or other once busy, now empty spaces?
  • How do you keep in touch with friends? Has anything changed?
  • Did you take advantage of online social activities offered by PSU?
  • How did you celebrate your graduation? We’d love to see photos of any private celebrations you had in place of commencement.

Please consider submitting items (digital and paper) that document your daily life during this time:

  • Artifacts and objects
  • Artwork, such as drawings and collages
  • Audio recordings
  • Writing, including digital such as blog posts, journal entries, and zines
  • Photographs
  • Poetry
  • Screenshots of social media posts

Please use this form to give us your information. You can submit more than once as we work our way through this difficult time.

The University Archives will accept all relevant materials, both physical and digital, as donations and for review for inclusion in the PSU COVID-19 Collection. If you mail materials, we will consider them a donation to the Archives. However, we will not be back in the archives for some time. Your donations  will be safe, but we will not acknowledge or process it until the campus is re-opened. Please mail to Spinelli Archives, Lamson Learning Commons, MSC 47, 17 High St., Plymouth NH 03264.

Submissions will not be available to the public immediately. They will be made available following review and processing by Spinelli Archives staff.

The Spinelli Archives reserves the right to reject any submission—or any component of a submission—for any reason. Rejected submissions will not be added to  the University Archives' collections in any manner.

If you have any questions about what you would like to submit or about the process, please email Alissa Helms at



Scarlet Fever


"How can we forget that period between Christmas vacation and Easter? It was at this time that we were all introduced to the hypodermic needle, because of the scarlet fever epidemic; but even quarantine had its joys.

From the 1928 Conning Tower

The Prospect



Who is it we are indebted to for the marvelous way in which the illnesses have been taken care of?

Who is it we are to thank that not more of us are ill?

Who is it, although meeting obstacles all along the pathway, has done just the right thing at all times and in every way?

Who is it that saw the quarantine might become too tiresome, and besides doing many other thoughtful acts, induced the magician to come?

What would we have done without our Captain to steer us through these troublesome waters?

DR. SILVER, here's to You!

From the Prospect, 1925