Call for Volunteers!

We are living during a time of immense change and uncertainty - a time that researchers in the future will be eager to learn about. What records are we leaving behind for future Loggers to learn from? In conjunction with colleges and universities across the nation, the Archives & Special Collections is launching a campus-wide project to encourage Puget Sound students, faculty, staff, and alumni to document their personal experiences during the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic and contribute them to the archives. Puget Sound Professor of History Nancy Bristow says:

We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic caused by a unique virus. The circumstances we are confronting are also unique in our time. In the past, communities have too often neglected to remember this kind of event. What our Archives and Special Collections staff are offering each of us is an opportunity to help this community remember by telling our stories. Everyone’s story is important, everyone’s story will help historians to understand what happened to us in 2020. This is such an important project, and one that will get better with each submission.” 

How to Participate

The Archives & Special Collections invites Puget Sound students, faculty, staff, and alumni to keep a record of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. You may journal (either typed or handwritten), draw, make a zine, compose poems, take photographs, gather stories, create video or audio recordings, or communicate in another method of your choosing. Contributions do not need to be formal or academic in nature. The emphasis is on self-expression, honesty, and a willingness to be a social commentator. We are looking for a sense of how the Puget Sound community is carrying on with studies, work, and life, as well as how you are feeling during this period of uncertainty. Submissions can range from direct observation to artistic reflection and may touch on themes within and beyond Puget Sound, such as displacement from student housing, working from home, impact of state/national leadership, social distancing and quarantine, your relationship with news outlets and social media, and more. We’ve also provided writing prompts to help jump-start the reflective process.

All participants must comply with federal, state, and local restrictions and guidelines for protecting the health and safety of yourself, your loved ones, and your community while participating in this project.

The Submission Process

  • Since events are changing by the day, please start writing and creating now!
  • The Archives & Special Collections will welcome your contribution in either analog or digital form. If you have any questions about format or project parameters, please email archives@pugetsound.edu.
  • To participate, please fill out this interest form to help us gather your contact information and we’ll follow up with more details about submission procedures. 
  • Running short on time but still want to contribute? Fill out our Quick Response form, which includes a few short reflection prompts. Feel free to write as little or as much as you’d like.
  • At this point, the project is open-ended as the situation continues to evolve. Please document for as long as you are willing and able. 
  • Submissions will not be available to the public immediately. After they are processed by Archives & Special Collections staff, they will be made available to the public. Limited restrictions to access (see FAQ below) will be granted, if requested.

FILL OUT AN INTEREST FORM NOW! 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can my submission be anonymous? Or can you just use my first name? Yes, we will happily offer this option. We want all participants to feel comfortable to be honest in their submissions.
  • Can my submission be restricted from use for a period of time? Yes. We would like this collection to be freely accessible, however, if you would like to have your contributions restricted for a short period of time due to personal concerns, feel free to contact us at archives@pugetsound.edu.
  • How frequently can/should I submit? This is up to you. If you want, you can send your submission in installments or you can send it all at once when you are finished.
  • Is there anything we should avoid writing about?  For your own privacy and safety, please do not include any personal information, aside from names, of any individuals including yourself. Personal information includes birth dates, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. Additionally, since the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis, it is likely that your submissions might include personal health information. At the time of submission you will be asked to agree to a Personal Health Information Agreement, stating that you acknowledge you may be sharing your own personal health information. It’s important to note that you should avoid including the personal health information of others, including family members, neighbors, etc.
  • Can I collaborate with or interview others as part of my submission? Yes! As long as you observe proper social distancing, we’re happy to accept collaborations or interview projects. If you collaborate with or interview other people in the course of your project, we will also need their permission so that we can preserve and share your submissions with future researchers. Please list the names of any collaborators in the Interest Form, so that we can collect all necessary submission and release forms. If we do not receive releases from all participants we cannot preserve the materials.
  • I’m a faculty member and I’d like to turn this into an assignment for my students, is there anything I need to know? That’s wonderful! It’s important to note, however, that you cannot in any way require or incentivize students to submit materials to the archives. If you’d like, you can simply make the students aware of the archives collecting project and the option of donating their project once the course is finished.

Writing & Reflection Prompts

 These prompts are designed to get you thinking about the experience you are living through right now. You do not have to answer or limit yourself to these specific questions, but you can use them as a starting point. 

  • What are your hopes and fears during this time? 
  • How have you prepared for this pandemic?  
  • How are the people around you responding?
  • What are your biggest concerns right now?
  • How do you view state, national, and international leadership right now?
  • What is your relationship with news outlets right now? Social media?
  • How did it feel to be told you had to leave campus? If you are one of the few students that remained on campus, what is it like being at Puget Sound during this time?
  • Share your experience with online learning and/or teaching. What have the challenges been? What are the positives?
  • Are you able to work from home? How has the transition affected you and your family? 
  • Where are you physically located now? If in Tacoma, what is it like being here at this time?
  • Who are you quarantined with? How is it going?
  • How has your routine changed?
  • How have you discussed these events with your family, friends, professors, colleagues?
  • How do you keep in touch with friends? 
  • What virtual/remote activities have you participated in (community gaming, virtual happy hours, remote watch parties)? 
  • If you could offer advice to someone in the future about this time, what might it be?

Questions? Email us at archives@pugetsound.edu