Share Your COVID-19 Experience With University Libraries

The University Libraries' Special Collections division and Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts seek to preserve the personal COVID-19 experiences of University of Arkansas students, faculty and staff. Stories can be submitted online.  

"This is a unique time in our collective history, and we feel it is important to document events and stories from our community," said Amy Allen, university archivist.  

Suggestions for documenting your experience include:  

  • A journal or blog of your thoughts and experiences 

  • Taking photos and/or videos of life as you see it 

  • Recording voice memos 

  • Interviewing friends or family for an oral history  

  • Saving social media posts 

  • Collecting emails that Arkansas-based businesses or organizations send you about COVID-19 related closings or precautions 

Topics of interest include but are not limited to stories about remote learning at the university, off-campus jobs (in retail, the service industry, grocery stores, etc.), the ways you are staying in touch with family and friends during this period of social distancing and self-quarantine, the challenges for international students or those with families abroad, experiences of faculty and staff working remotely, experiences of staff who remain on campus, and how this event is impacting you. 

In addition to soliciting and preserving these types of records, Arkansas Folk and Traditional Arts will conduct oral histories remotely with community members across the state. You also have the option to record and submit an oral history of your own making.  

"We tend to wait until long after events occur to collect oral histories and document our experiences," said Virginia Siegel, folklorist. "But I think it's important — more than ever — to start the documentation process now while we are still experiencing this fundamental shift in how we experience our daily lives."  

Contacts

Amy Allen, university archivist
University Libraries
479-575-6370, ala005@uark.edu

Kelsey Lovewell Lippard, director of public relations
University Libraries
479-575-7311, klovewel@uark.edu

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