Collecting the history of the COVID-19 Pandemic at the University of Oregon

Students: Do you have anything to donate that reflects your UO experience during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Students: Do you have anything to donate that reflects your UO experience during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The UO Libraries is actively documenting ways the pandemic affected the UO campus community and how the University administration, faculty, staff, and students responded to this crisis.

We are creating a UO COVID-19 Pandemic Collection comprised of official university communications that document administrative and faculty efforts to pivot to online teaching; and subsequent efforts to help the university manage the campus and its full range of operations and keep the campus safe during this time. This collection will be housed in the University of Oregon Archives, where it will be preserved for decades and even hundreds of years to come so that future researchers will understand how the university responded to the pandemic.

But these documents only tell one part of the story, and this is where you come in!

BE A PART OF HISTORY


Have you kept a diary or written letters or emails to family and friends in which you talk about how the pandemic is affecting you? Did you take pictures with your phone or a camera that reflect your life during the pandemic? These kinds of documents will be vital to help people in the future understand how students were affected by the pandemic. We are particularly interested in knowing:

  • How did you adjust to remote learning? Did you have difficulty accessing the internet, or even a computer during this time?
  • Did you have any hardships relating to online learning? What did you like about it?
  • What were your positive experiences and difficult experiences?
  • Were you or your family affected by COVID? Did you have relatives who were sick with COVID or died of COVID? Did you experience loss and grief at this time? How did you cope with these hardships?
  • Did you lose a job and income during the pandemic? How did you cope?
  • BIPOC students, DACA students, LGBTQ students and students from other historically underrepresented communities: how did the pandemic impact you, your families and your community(ies) specifically both on campus and off? How did the continued movement for civil rights and the current call for Black Lives Matter impact you during this time coinciding with the pandemic? Were you affected by the rise in anti-Asian sentiment?
  • What did you miss about being away from campus? Was there anything you liked about not being on campus? If you stayed on campus in student housing, what was your experience like?

Would you be willing to donate any documents that reflect these questions to our growing collection? It is vital that we represent the student experience at UO during the pandemic—the good AND the bad. If you do not have any letters to parents, relatives, or friends or kept a diary, you can write about your experiences in a dated document (month, day, year) to be donated to the collection.

If you have anything to donate, please contact Linda Long, Curator of Manuscripts in Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries at: llong@uoregon.edu
In the subject line, please write “Student COVID pandemic contribution.”

Linda will tell you more about the project and answer any questions or concerns you may have. She can also tell you how to get your materials to the University Archives and the procedures we will need to take to make your materials a formal donation into the collection.

The collection thus far includes a combination of digital documents and paper documents:

  • Emails from UO administrators, policy statements
  • UO webpages and newsletters
  • Emails from Lane County Health officials
  • Emails from Oregon Health Authority
  • Examples of paper signage
  • Examples of masks
  • A survey of freshmen responses to the pandemic and remote teaching conducted by students in a class spring quarter, 2020.
  • A spring 2020 National Survey of Student Engagement that was facilitated by Claire Matise
  • Photographs of campus spaces


This is a growing collection and we hope to add any documents produced by you that will enrich the collection and reflect student life during spring and summer 2020 and this past academic year, 2020-2021

Thank you!