University Archives’ COVID-19 Experience Project seeks community engagement

April 07, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The global efforts underway to stop the pandemic spread of the novel coronavirus have dramatically altered daily life, impacting the lives and experiences of the Penn State community and others in unprecedented, historically significant ways. With this in mind, the Penn State University Libraries’ University Archives, part of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, has begun work to document this significant and unique period for preservation and future research use.

Its official curatorial program, the Penn State COVID-19 Experience Project, invites Penn State students, staff, faculty and alumni to document and share their personal experiences for submission toward a new special collection for the University Archives. Participants are encouraged to submit written journals or diaries, photo essays, video or audio recordings, zines or any other creative means of documentation.

“The COVID-19 Experience Project provides us with the unique opportunity to document our experience as we are living it,” said Jennifer Meehan, head of the Eberly Family Special Collections Library. “We already understand how deeply COVID-19 will impact our Penn State community, and the University Archives is committed to preserving this lived history for the benefit of future generations.”

Participants may document their experiences in one day, maintain a daily diary for several weeks, or create a reflective weekly journal, at the discretion of the individual and in whatever medium they choose. The project seeks to document how the Penn State community is carrying on with studies, research, work and life — both physically and emotionally.

The University Archives will accept all relevant materials, both physical and digital, as donations and for review for inclusion in the Penn State COVID-19 Experience Project Collection. To contribute, participants are asked to please complete this Qualtrics form, also found at tinyurl.com/PSUcov19project. With the help of the entire Penn State community, the University Archives can help preserve this experience for future scholars.

Additional information about the Penn State COVID-19 Experience Project, as well as prompts for individuals to consider as they begin to record their experiences, can be found at https://libraries.psu.edu/about/libraries/special-collections-library/covid-19-experience-project. For questions about the project, please email University Archivist Angel Diaz at madiaz@psu.edu.

Last Updated April 09, 2020