Penrose Library Blog
Whitman Coronavirus Stories: Documenting Our Lives during the COVID-19 PandemicPublished at April 3, 2020
In collaboration with students in Library 160: Documentation and Representation in Archives, the Whitman College and Northwest Archives is creating a digital archive of the Whitman community’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move classes online, work, teach and learn from home, and practice social distancing, our normal experiences and routines have been displaced and disrupted. We hope to collect the stories, experiences, and evidence of our changed lives, both the painful and difficult, and the unexpectedly beautiful and hopeful.
You can view submissions to the digital archive in ARMINDA, our institutional repository.
How to participate
You can record your experience in whatever format is comfortable for you. Some options include:
- Writing: letters, emails, diary-entries, blog posts, rants, etc.
- Images: what is the view from where you are? Photos, screen captures of social media posts, digital art produced in reaction to the current situation
- Audio files: voice memos, phone-interviews with a friend (note: make sure you have consent of all parties before recording them), music, podcast
- Videos clips: short recordings of your daily life or routines; Zoom, Google Meet, or other video conference recordings (note: make sure you have consent of all parties before recording them)
- Other things you can think of: be creative! What would you like to be saved now so that Whitman students in 5 or 50 years can understand the moment we are currently living through?
- Keep in mind that we want to collect material that gives evidence of your personal experience, or that of others in the Whitman Community, not national news stories, media reports, or other types of material that are best documented elsewhere.
Questions and themes we hope to explore include:
- How students, faculty and staff are transitioning to remote teaching and learning
- How social distancing is impacting our lives
- What is the changing nature of faculty, staff and student work, on- or off-campus
- How you are staying in touch and communicating with friends and family
Please comply with county and state stay-at-home orders, and practice social distancing, while self-documenting.
Submitting Material to the Archive
- We can accept material in most common formats. But if you have questions, please direct them to [email protected].
- Materials submitted to the project will be retained in the Archives and made available to researchers under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license, which will allow others to share and adapt the material while crediting the creator(s) of the material.
- Please use this Google Form to submit your items. You will be able to sign an agreement allowing the Archives to preserve your submission, and you will receive important information about the copyright and use of your content.
- If you interview other people in the course of your documentation, or if any materials are co-created by you and another person, we will also need their permission so that we can preserve and share your materials with future researchers. Please have all co-creators fill out this form. If we do not receive releases from all participants we cannot preserve the materials. But only one person will need to attach the files to the form — co-creators can simply fill in their personal information along with a description of the materials.
- Do you want to contribute but are running short on time? Fill out our quick response form! We provide five brief prompts, and you can type as much or as little as you would like. All questions are optional, so you can pick and choose which prompts to respond to.
This project has been inspired by, and borrowed from, ideas generated from Documenting Your Community’s Experience of COVID-19: A Resource List. In particular, we acknowledge the work of Atkins Library Special Collections & University Archives at the UNC Charlotte.