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COVID-19 Collection Project

COVID-19 Through Your Eyes

We are living through a historic time. The COVID-19 (or coronavirus) pandemic is dramatically changing the way the world functions and how people connect. These changes are important to document for future generations to understand what happened, what people felt, and what people saw. So, what’s your story?

We need your help to create a comprehensive record of how COVID-19 impacts our communities. Images and personal stories have a tremendous influence on how we perceive people, events, and the world. Few photos, film recordings, and written accounts exist that show the impact of the 1918 influenza epidemic on individual communities. Let’s change the outcome of how we are documented. You are on the front lines of this global pandemic. Help us capture history!

 

This video explores how you can get involved in the American Heritage Center's COVID-19 Collection Project.

 

How can you get involved?

 

You can take our survey.

The survey includes guided questions that can help inspire your remarks on this experience. There are options to remain anonymous or to restrict access to your response for 5 years. As the pandemic continues to unfold, feel free to take the survey multiple times.

 

You can donate items to the AHC.

If you have photos, websites, videos, audio recordings, art work, poems, scrapbooks, or some other record that tells your story about how COVID-19 has impacted your life, share it with us! Do you want to interview friends and family? Are you making TikTok videos? Have you put on a performance for your squad? Be creative.

 

You can document your town.

Share with us what changes you’ve seen in your community. Do you want to make a virtual tour of neighborhoods, businesses, downtown, or other public spaces? Take photos of posters, stickers, storefronts, and signs that show what’s different. We want to see this pandemic through your eyes.

 

You can create a class project.

The voices of students offer insightful observations on dramatic changes. The AHC is happy to discuss collaborative class projects, such as interviewing students, writing blogs, analyzing the environmental impacts of humans self isolating, or creating photo essays. Please note that per FERPA regulations students cannot be required to submit any class assignment. Instead, they can voluntarily donate their final project to the AHC.

 

You can create a community project.

Are you part of a community group addressing exasperated food insecurity? Has your sewing group made face masks to donate to community shelters? Are you part of a community that wants to share your collective stories? Do you want to record interviews or put on an art show? Get in touch to discuss options!

 

You can contact us if you have other ideas.

We’re happy to talk with you about other ideas you have!

 

Check who can participate in the FAQs section below.

At this time, we are unable to include persons under the age of 18 years in our project. Please check back later.

 

Project Details

The University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center (AHC) is launching its COVID-19 Collection Project, which was inspired by History Colorado’s COVID-19 collecting initiative. The COVID-19 Collection Project gathers together experiences, thoughts, observations, and stories from around Wyoming about the impact of the coronavirus on work, education, personal life, community, and beyond. In some aspects, this is a shared experience, but the impact on each individual is different and the way each individual views the pandemic and its impact is unique.These stories tell us what’s happening from an individual perspective, providing a personal and in-depth look at the impact of COVID-19 on our community.

Participants in the survey and donors to this project must agree to give permission to the AHC to archivally preserve the submitted materials and to provide public access to them. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can select that option within the survey. There is also an option to restrict public access to your story for five (5) years. Please note that we are unable to accept submissions from persons under the age of 18 years. We are also unable to accept submissions with HIPAA content.

If you have questions, please see our Frequently Asked Questions section below.

We are more than willing to discuss any aspect of this project with you. For any questions regarding this project, restrictions, anonymity, or if you want to make a donation, please contact Sara Davis, University Archivist at sarad@uwyo.edu, or Rachel Gattermeyer, Digital Archivist at rgatterm@uwyo.edu.

Be well and thank you for being a part of history!

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Who can participate?

Any person 18 years or older who agrees to give permission to the AHC to archivally preserve and provide access to their story. Please contact the other Wyoming institutions (see below) to determine if they will accept materials for participants younger than 18 years of age.

 

What types of formats are accepted?

All common image, text, audio, and video formats are accepted. Please contact Sara Davis (sarad@uwyo.edu) or Rachel Gattermeyer (rgatterm@uwyo.edu) if you have specific inquiries.

 

Is there anything we should avoid writing about?

We are not able to collect any material with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) content. HIPAA requires that personal health information remain confidential. This means that you must agree not to include personally identifiable health information about yourself, another person or persons, or information that could allow a third party to identify the people. This rule encompasses information about members of your family, neighbors, and others. If you elect to share personal health information, the third party must separately submit the survey and the submissions must be fully anonymized for both the submitter and any third parties identifiable in the submission. Please let us know if you have questions.

 

What should I document?

The AHC’s COVID-19 Collection Project hopes to record community narratives as well as individual ones. We want to see the impact of the COVID-19 virus through your eyes. Be creative. Share with us your observations about how this has impacted your community and beyond, as well as the daily impact to your personal and professional life.

 

I’m an instructor, and I’d like to turn this into an assignment for my students. Is there anything I need to know?

This is great! Instructors need to be cognizant that student educational records as well as schoolwork is protected through the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and teachers cannot require that students donate materials to the archives. Instructors should notify their students that these projects are eligible to be part of the AHC’s COVID-19 Collection Project with their permission and provide them with the AHC’s release form with the assignment, the link to the survey, and contact information for Sara Davis (sarad@uwyo.edu) or Rachel Gattermeyer (rgatterm@uwyo.edu) for more information.

 

How do I submit?

To participate in contributing your stories, please complete the online survey. If you are interested in submitting material other than just the survey, please contact Sara Davis (sarad@uwyo.edu) or Rachel Gattermeyer (rgatterm@uwyo.edu).

 

How frequently can/should I submit?

As the impact of COVID-19 will change over time, participants are encouraged to submit multiple observations.

 

What other Wyoming institutions are collecting?

In addition to the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center, the Wyoming State Archives and the Wyoming State Museum are collecting materials. For more information or to offer items, please contact Kathy Marquis, State Archivist at kathy.marquis@wyo.gov, or Jennifer Alexander, Wyoming State Museum Supervisor of Collections at jennifer.alexander@wyo.gov.

 

Can I keep the copyright to what I submit?

We request that participants give the AHC permission to preserve and provide access to the materials they submit.

 

Can I restrict public access to my submission for a period of time?

Yes, the online survey allows users to request to restrict the material. The default restriction is for five (5) years. Those interested in restricting their submitted information need to contact Sara Davis (sarad@uwyo.edu) or Rachel Gattermeyer (rgatterm@uwyo.edu).

 

Can submissions be anonymous?

Yes, we want people to feel comfortable sharing their stories. Please indicate on the survey form that you are requesting anonymity. In these cases, the AHC will remove any identifying information from the submitted information before storing them in the archive.

 

Take our survey.

 

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