Documenting Your COVID-19 Experience

Documenting Your Experience during the Coronavirus Outbreak 

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to record and preserve the personal experiences of members of the Tufts University community during the coronavirus outbreak. While official University responses to this unprecedented event will be recorded and preserved in the archives due to the University Records Policy, there are fewer formal policies to ensure the inclusion of our students’ personal experiences and reactions in the archives. You can help with that by participating in this project.

Directions: The method that you use to record your thoughts during this time period is up to you. Some suggestions include writing a journal of your thoughts and experiences, recording voice memos to make an audio oral history, saving your social media posts (please get in touch if you need help with this), or taking photos and/or videos of life that capture pandemic-related experiences. We are interested in stories about the shift to remote learning, being displaced from student housing, off-campus jobs (in retail, the service industry, grocery stores, etc.), the ways you and your friends and family are staying in touch during this period of social distancing and self-quarantine, the challenges of international students or those with families abroad, and so on. 

Guidelines: 

  • Digital Collections & Archives can handle just about any format you create, but if you’re uncertain about something in particular and need technical assistance please reach out to Margaret Peachy at archives@tufts.edu. We can help! Generally, preferred formats include docx or pdf, tiff or jpg,  mp3 and wav, and mp4 or mov files.
  • Please fill out our webform. When we receive your information our archivists will set up a Box folder into which you can deposit your files. The folder will also contain a deed of gift for you to sign; this serves as documentation of your contribution and includes important information about intellectual property and use of your content. If you have questions or encounter any problems please contact us at archives@tufts.edu.
  • If you interview other people in the course of your documentation, we will also need their permission so that we can preserve and share the recordings with future researchers. Please have any friends, family members, or community members fill out the deed of gift if you wish to record with them. If we do not receive releases from you and all other participants we cannot preserve the materials. NOTE: Only you will need to upload the files, co-creators can simply fill in their personal information along with a description of the materials.
  • Please be aware of social distancing best practices while self-documenting and stay at least 6 feet away from any people you wish to interview, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow, and stay home if you feel sick (as recommended by the CDC). 
  • We know that the pandemic has affected our community emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, and financially. Please visit Tufts Counseling and Mental Health resources for more information on how students may seek counseling services at this time, as well as resources on how to manage COVID-19 related stress and anxiety.


These guidelines and the related form are adapted with permission from the University of North Carolina Charlotte's guidelines.