COVID-19: Tell Your Story

Case Western Reserve University Kelvin Smith Library is seeking to document the personal experiences of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and other campus members during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. We invite you, the campus community, to record your stories and contribute them to the University Archives for preservation and a place in the university’s historical record.

How to participate

We are interested in your stories about the shift to remote instruction and learning, studying and working from home, working at off-campus jobs, the impact of closing residence halls and other campus services, the ways you and your friends and family stayed in touch during the period of physical distancing and self-quarantining.

The entire situation was  a first for this university – a university that is over 197 years old. The University Archives regularly receives records from university offices, departments, and organizations, which reflect their activities and viewpoints. In addition to what we are regularly receiving, the University Archives would like to capture the personal viewpoints of the people who make up the campus community.

How you record your thoughts and experiences is up to you. You can write in a journal, create poetry, record voice memos, save your social media posts, take photos and/or videos of life as you see it, create multimedia works of digital storytelling.

Please do not submit university-wide emails from the president, provost or other university official; local, regional, national, or international media coverage (e.g., articles, news video clips); artwork or three-dimensional items (we can accept photos of these items); personal medical records; student records and graded student work/assignments.

If you are interested in contributing materials directly related to the medical response to COVID-19 including physical objects, or if there is a three-dimensional object you feel is particularly relevant to your personal experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our colleagues at CWRU’s Dittrick Medical History Center,

If you have any questions about what we accept, please email

Submission process

The University Archives will accept material in analog or digital form.

If you are submitting analog material, complete the submission form, then contact the Archives to make arrangements to deliver or send the material. You can drop off analog material beginning Monday, 8/24/2020. You can send analog material via U.S. mail to: CWRU Archives, 20 BioEnterprise Building, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland OH 44106-7229.

If you have a Google account, submit your digital material via this Google Form: COVID-19 Tell Your Story Submission form for Google account users.

If you are a non-Google account user, submit the Google Form: COVID-19 Tell Your Story Submission form for non-Google account users and contact the University Archives staff at to make file transfer arrangements.

You must sign an agreement allowing the University Archives to preserve your submission, whether it is digital or analog. The agreement is contained in the submission form. If other people are identified in your material, they must sign the consent form.

You must be at least 18 years old to participate.

You can send your submission in installments via the submission form or all at once when you are finished. It is not a problem if you are not ready to submit material immediately. We will continue to collect materials indefinitely.

Submissions will not be available to the public immediately. After they are processed by University Archives staff, they will become available. You can also select if you would like to restrict access for 5 years, or if you want your contribution to remain anonymous .

Digital Case Live Collection

Submissions are added monthly to the COVID-19: Tell Your Story collection in Digital Case.


Thank you to Katie Howell and Tyler Cline of J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina Charlotte for allowing us to use text and ideas from UNCC’s “Contribute Your Stories of the COVID-19 Outbreak” website to model our program.