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Special Collections and Archives

Buley LIbrary, Southern Connecticut State University

Covid-19 Digital Archive

We are currently living in a historic and unprecedented time of crisis. The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives as individuals, social beings, and citizens in unique and extraordinary ways. As the pandemic continues, we, our institutions and governments, and the virus will continue to evolve and will have lasting, but different ramifications. We are all struggling to make sense of our unique experiences as well as the complexities and implications of current events in a global context. 

Scope of the Project

As a response, Librarians in Buley Library in conjunction with Faculty across SCSU campus are beginning to gather and document the voices of the university community for the historic record. We are reaching out to all members of our community (students, faculty and staff) to invite you to document and contribute your lived experiences to an archived digital collection. Through this endeavor we hope to provide a context for understanding ourselves and one another in this time of isolation. More than this, we hope these materials—your documentary evidence—will serve as a persistent historical record for future students, historians, and researchers to understand and interpret the individual and institutional response of SCSU community members to this ongoing global health crisis.

What Should I Submit?

We are looking for materials with explicitly or implicitly deal with your experiences during the pandemic. How has affected you, your family and friends, the way you interact with the world? How has the virus changed--or reaffirmed--the ways you look at the world? What are your unique experiences of the pandemic and its eventual aftermath, of the lockdown (or lack thereof) and reopening? What does being a student mean in an online or socially-distanced classroom?

Submissions may be in whatever medium you express yourself—written, visual, aural, digital, or any combination. For example, we welcome and encourage contributions of hand or typed accounts of everyday life, journal and diary entries, stories, photo-diaries, comics, song lyrics or recordings, poems, or any other media.

Your submissions may be informal and are without expectations as to “good grammar,” precise spelling, or adherence to any aesthetic ideal. The primary focus is on realism, self-expression, generosity, and truthfulness. See this page for some prompts to help get your started with recording your textual and visual experiences. 

We are most interested in contributions that express your particular outlook and experience. Please only submit work in which you had a clear and direct hand in creating or otherwise have clear rights to. If it was a collaborative piece, please include the names of other creators, so that we may contact them for consent. Please do not submit anything that you did not have an unambiguous hand in creating.

What Shouldn't I Contribute?

Broadly speaking, while we hope to include as many submissions as possible, project staff reserves the right to not make public submissions that are deemed to violate federal or local laws, do not directly or indirectly address the COVID-19 pandemic, contains private student or health records information, are clearly in violation of copyright law, or are clearly not the work of the contributor.

For Faculty 

Are you a member of faculty at SCSU and want to turn this into an assignment for my students? We’d love to support that! However, it is important to note that you cannot in any way require, incentivize, or put any form of pressure on students to submit these projects to the archives. If you choose, you as a faculty member can simply make the students aware of the possibility to submit their projects at part of this project. You might say something like “This course assignment was inspired by this Covid-19 documentation project underway by Buley Library. If you’re interested, you can consider submitting your project to help document this historic time, but you are not required to do so for this course.” Alternatively, project staff will be happy to speak to your class about the project. As content begins to be included on the site, we hope that will provide incentive enough to inspire further contributions. But, again, all contributions must be made voluntarily, and no grade can be contingent upon participation. 

For more details on these and other legal questions, please see our page of Terms and Conditions for Digital Submission.

For Researchers and Creators

Do you want to use this material for creative or intellectual reasons? This material is freely available for you to use, cite, transform, and interpret, with the following restrictions. Any transformative media made with this media cannot be offered for sale. For more information please read more about the Creative Commons license under which this material is licensed.

How Should I Contribute?

You may contribute to this project by going to our submission page, signing up for an account, selecting the media of your contribution, attaching a file to the form, and offering some basic description of the contribution that you, as the creator, are best able to give.

In general, we are asking for your help in describing:

  • Title of the contribution
  • Description of the contribution as it interacts with COVID-19
  • The creator of the contribution (in most circumstances this will be you
  • The date the contribution was created
  • Any related sources or resources that yours draws upon
  • The genre of the contribution

As you create your contributor account, please know that this system is not tied to your SouthernID or password. Rather, when you sign up, you may use any e-mail address you like.

If you have any trouble submitting, please contact an appropriate project staff person, who can be found on this page.

We are aware that many members of our community may not have access to technology, so we are asking everyone to volunteer to reach out to others in the community to help us to collect their stories and experiences as well. We ask that you spread the word about this initiative to your friends and colleagues at SCSU. If they do not have access to technology, please offer to act as a conduit to connect them to one of the project staff, who can then find a way to make their content available.