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“Documenting COVID-19”: Asking the Community to Share Its Stories

August 6, 2020
“Coronavirus mundial” collage image, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our communities in unique ways. It is for this reason that the Villanova University Archives, Falvey Memorial Library’s Digital Scholarship Librarian, and the Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest are collaborating on the “Documenting COVID-19” collection effort.

In this initiative all Villanova students, faculty, full and part-time staff, and alumnae/i are invited to:

  • Submit their story;
  • Share photographs;
  • Create or submit a video or audio recording;
  • Create or submit a collection of digital objects;
  • Share any reflections from this unique period. This may include experiences about school, work, home, or events surrounding the BLM protests.

The stated goal is to ensure that future generations will have original sources of information regarding the lives and times of Villanovans who experienced this global pandemic.

According to Preservation & Digital Archivist Beaudry Allen, collecting will be ongoing throughout the pandemic and in the subsequent weeks after the pandemic has passed. People are allowed to submit as many times as they like as events or emotions change. All submissions will be preserved in the University Archives at Falvey Library.

Also, unlike traditional collection initiatives, this collecting process is spontaneous and premised upon “crisis collecting.” This means that collecting activities occur simultaneously to events unfolding. The policies are based on the University’s Archives collecting policy and on best practices developed by the Tragedy Response Initiative of the Society of American Archivists. Read the policy and scope documents here.

If you have any questions about the project please contact: documentingcovid@villanova.edu.

-Adapted from Falvey Memorial Library’s “Documenting Covid-19: Submit Your Story!” webpage, which also has more information about the project leaders.

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