Your Story Matters: Documenting COVID-19 Project

What is The #DocumentingCOVID19 Project?

The #DocumentingCovid19 Project is an oral histories and document collection project. Our goal is to interview people during the 2020 COVID-19 Outbreak. The long-term hope of this project is to create an archive that future generations can use to understand pandemics and our lived experiences through them.

Who are you looking for?

We are specifically looking for people who are 18 years old and older living in the United States and its territories. We are prioritizing interviews with the following groups: essential workers, educators, people who are unemployed/laid off as a result of the COVID pandemic, those who are “at-risk” for contracting the disease, and those who have been diagnosed with COVID. We will also be interviewing people with interesting stories and unique experiences. While we hope to interview everyone who applies, our capacity does depend on the amount of volunteer interviewers.

Why must I be 18 years old?

Working with minors requires a lot of oversight, paper work, and manpower that we do not have at the moment. In the future, we hope to open up the project to minors.

What if I am a minor who wants to submit documents/pictures?

While we would love to accept documents, pictures and other primary sources from minors, right now we need to be sure we are doing everything in an ethical manner. If you are below the age of 18, please keep records of your experiences during the pandemic. When you turn 18, we encourage you to submit your documentation to the project.

Who is running this?

The project was originally thought up by Nikki R. Brueggeman, who has a background in international studies and history. As the outbreak began, Nikki started to ask her friends and family to document everything through journals and photographs. We are still adding people to the project, specifically academics in the fields of history and cultural studies.

Can I be part of the project?

We are looking for volunteers (ages 18+) to help! We especially need help with interviewing people. If you are willing to volunteer to help with archiving, interviewing and transcribing please fill out this form:

Will I be paid for participation?

No one is being paid or compensated for this project. From administrators to interviewers, this is all being done through volunteer work. The goal of this project is to provide oral histories and primary sources free of charge. Interviewees and those who submit documents will receive no monetary or non-monetary compensation for participation.

How long will the interview take?

Interviews are planned to take 40 minutes.

Why are oral histories important?

Oral histories are an essential part of our history. By interviewing people and collecting oral histories in the midst of the pandemic we are capturing in-the-moment responses to the virus, government policies, etc. It is our hope that these oral histories help future generations to understand the human side of the COVID-19 outbreak. From the stir-craziness to the feelings of isolation, these feelings are essential for future generations to understand. From your experience and documentations, we can learn how society failed and how we triumphed. Think of this project as a time capsule. One day, someone with hindsight can look at our experiences and put it together in the chaotic puzzle that is the 2020 outbreak. Your story matters. We want it.

“I don’t want to be interviewed, I just want to submit documents and photographs.”
Wonderful! Please submit your documents and photographs here:

How can I stay informed?
Please follow us on our Facebook page for additional updates!