A public health professor conducting research on COVID-19. An international student attending virtual classes in a different time zone. A staff member still reporting to work on an eerily quiet campus. A group of alumni sharing work from home tips. These are all valuable stories from a pandemic, and the Harvard University Archives wants to capture thousands like them with the new COVID-19 Community Archiving Project.
The project aims to preserve history as it is happening by collecting multimedia, first-person documentation from the broad Harvard community.
It is intended to show how thousands of Harvard students, alumni, faculty, and staff, plus Cambridge residents and business owners, experienced this pandemic. Through the project, Harvard University Archives (HUA) staff hope to learn about Harvard community members’ recent and daily experience; on campus, in the lab, at home, or elsewhere.
“To do this project, we need your help,” archivists wrote on the project website. “We would like to collect the materials you are creating right now that document this time and submit them to this project for archiving and future research.”