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Special Collections Research Center COVID-19 Archive

UChicago During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Help the University of Chicago Library's Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center document the experiences of the UChicago community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Future historians, scientists, leaders, and others will someday want to know how our University community responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. What did we do to keep people safe while still fulfilling our mission? How did our education, our jobs, our relationships, our lives change? How did we engage with others - locally and globally - to fight this disease and its repercussions?

You can help us document this significant moment in history by contributing your story. Tell us about your experience during the pandemic; on campus, at home, in the lab, in the field, or wherever you are. What have you seen, felt, done?

Who Can Donate

  • Students:  Tell us what it is like to be the first group of UChicago students impacted by a pandemic in over 100 years.
  • Faculty and Emeriti:  How has the pandemic affected your teaching, research, and interactions with students?  How has it affected your life outside of work?
  • Staff:  Are you working remotely? Are you on the front lines? What is it like? How has life changed for you?
  • Alumni and Community Members:  What has your experience been in your communities—how have things changed? What is life like in a time of social distancing and quarantining? We are especially interested to hear about experiences of residents on the South Side of Chicago.

Tell Your Story

Be creative. Find a medium that works for you. Here are a few ideas:

  • Write it down. It could be a diary, a letter, a blog post, an essay, a poem, a screenshot of a social media post.
  • Speak it. Record a voice memo or video.
  • Show us. Take photos. Create a work of art.
  • Collect it. Your yard sign, your thank-you note to the postal worker in your front window, your child's art. What ephemeral things collectively tell your story?

Please comply with city, county, and state stay-at-home orders and safety guidelines while self-documenting.


Submission Process

Please FILL OUT OUR FORM and provide as much detail as you can.

Your submission must include an email address in case we need to contact you, but the email will not become part of the public collection. You may also choose to anonymize your submission.

There is no deadline for submissions. You may make multiple contributions over time.

Submissions will not be available to the public immediately.

The Special Collections Research Center is not obligated to preserve all submissions and reserves the right to not collect submissions that it deems out of scope.

We can accept most digital formats, such as photos (jpg, png), videos (mp4, mov), audio (mp3), and text (txt, pdf, docx, doc). If you are unsure about something in particular, don't want to submit online, have physical items you would like to donate, or have privacy questions or concerns, please email: 

If your submission includes information about other people, we will also need their permission so that we can preserve and share your submission with future researchers. If you have any friends, family members, or community members involved in your submission, please contact us at




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