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Tufts Public Health

Documenting the Living History of COVID-19

A sign of the times: the cannon on the Hill. “One goal of this project is to encourage people to shift to a more participatory approach—understanding that we are preserving history and being part of writing history,” said Jane Kelly.
Thursday, May 21, 2020

What does the coronavirus pandemic mean to you? How has your life been impacted by social distancing, illness, or remote learning, among other changes? How are you living your daily life? How are you staying in touch? These are among the many questions driving a university-wide initiative called the COVID-19 Documentation Project.

The project, initiated and organized by Digital Collections and Archives (DCA), seeks first-person accounts from alumni, students, faculty, staff, and parents about how this historic moment is changing—and challenging—our lives by disrupting routines and upending plans.

Just as individual experiences widely vary, so too can documentation formats, including journals (written or recorded as audio or video), as well as photographs, graphic novels, or oral history interviews of friends and family. All contributions are submitted via a web form found online at the Documentation Project page.

To learn more about the planning and thinking behind the project, Tufts Now spoke with DCA staff closely involved with its genesis and progress: Dan Santamaria, director; Jane Kelly, records and accessioning archivist; Margaret Peachy, digital archivist; and Adrienne Pruitt, collections management archivist.

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