Write the first draft of history: Share your COVID-19 stories with CSU Archives

As appearing in Source.colostate.edu | April, 2020 | By

During a global pandemic, how do people react and adapt to upheavals in their everyday lives and in the way they relate to family, friends and co-workers?

To answer this question, the Colorado State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections is launching the COVID-19 Archive to capture and preserve personal stories from CSU students, faculty and staff. These stories will allow people to look back on and remember the impact of the crisis unfolding today. A form is available for story contributions; CSU eID required for access.

The University Archives is particularly interested in stories surrounding the struggles adapting to an online learning platform, moving to a home work environment, and working off-campus jobs. They are also interested in stories on the effects of halting residence hall and campus services, and the impacts on staying in touch with friends and family.

“The University Archives serves as CSU’s institutional memory, and it is critical to document how the community responds to this pandemic,” Coordinator of Archives and Special Collections Mark Shelstad wrote. “Similar to the 1997 flood and the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, these stories contribute to a larger narrative about the struggles, emotions, and changes resulting from this international crisis. This narrative will inform the CSU community – now and in the future – about our shared experiences, and for historians and public policy makers about daily life.”

Participants have many options by which they can document their submission. Potential options include journals, voice memos, social media posts, photos, video recordings or multimedia work.

“Submitting a story will allow people to share their thoughts, feelings, and observations as they’re happening,” Shelstad wrote. “The submission process also allows for more organic contributions from the entire CSU community that may not otherwise be captured.”