Dear Tacoma: Collecting Our Community’s Stories

Add your story to an archive of Tacoma’s struggles, hopes, and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic by submitting a letter or audio recording to Tacoma Public Library and Grit City Magazine. Your submission will become part of the library’s Northwest Room archives, and may also be shared in the present to illustrate the resilience and interconnectedness of our community.

We hope you’ll become part of the Dear Tacoma project. Visit our Dear Tacoma Digital Collectionopens a new window to view current submissions.

How to submit:

Option 1:
Write a letter that starts with “Dear Tacoma,” and include your first name, age, and zip code.

Here are some prompts to get you started:

The thing I miss most is...
I’ve been spending my time…
The lockdown makes me feel…
I still feel connected because…
My loneliest moment happened…
I love Tacoma because…
When this is over I will…

Post your letter in the dialogue boxopens a new window, or mail it the old fashioned way (along with original artwork and other ephemera) to this address:

Tacoma Public Library
Attn: Northwest Room Archives
1102 Tacoma Avenue South
Tacoma, WA 98402

Option 2:
Interview a relative or friend on your phone, email it to: NWR@TacomaLibrary.orgopens a new window. Or, leave a voicemail at (253) 292-2001 x1605 about your experience. Interviews will be posted in the Dear Tacoma project page and become part of the Northwest Room’s oral history collection. 

Here are some interview questions you could use: 

  • What was the most unexpected part about being in Tacoma during the pandemic?
  • What was most difficult about being in Tacoma during the stay-at-home order and why?
  • What did you do to fight boredom during the stay-at-home order?
  • Has living through this pandemic changed your life forever, and if so, how?
  • What memory sticks out in your head most about the pandemic? Why do you think this has made such an impression on you?
  • Do you think experiencing this pandemic in Tacoma was different from experiencing it elsewhere? Why?
  • For future generations: is there any wisdom you’d want to pass on to them? What would you want them to know about the pandemic?

Your submissions will be archived and retained in the Northwest Room at Tacoma Public Library. All content becomes part of the Northwest Room’s collection and permission is given for public use, research, display, exhibit, and publication. Donors retain rights to use, distribute, and/or donate digital materials elsewhere.

You must be 18 years of age or older to submit content. If you are under 18, please ask a parent or guardian to submit content on your behalf.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Tacoma Public Library