As you can imagine, oral histories of the pandemic are incredibly important stories to gather with care and sensitivity in this moment. In response to queries about contributing oral histories or how to conduct them, please explore the following resources.
For advice on conducting oral histories on this topic and with best practices and ethics in mind, please see:
- the Baylor Institute for Oral History’s recent webinar on Oral History at a Distance: Conducting Remote Interviews.
- The Oral History Society’s “Advice on remote oral history interviewing during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
To that end, there are a number of public COVID oral history and public memory projects to consider connecting with:
- Columbia Center for Oral History Research NYC COVID-19 Oral History, Narrative and Memory Archive
- The COVID-19 Oral History Project
- Journal of the Plague Year
- Foxfire COVID Oral History Project (Southern Appalachia focus)
- Queens Memory COVID-19 Project
- CoronaDiaries: Documenting the everyday lived experiences of a global pandemic
- Stitching the Curve: knitting a data visualization of COVID-19 cases in Canada
Covid-19: First Person Histories (Institute of Psychiatry at Weill Medical Center, Cornell University)
While the Oral History Archives at Columbia (OHAC) is interested in oral histories of the pandemic, we will only be considering completed projects, rather than committing to ideas for collections or incomplete collections. “Completeness” in this instance means clear audio, transcribed interviews and copies of signed releases from all narrators.
Once you have completed your project, do get in touch to discuss submitting the collection for inclusion in OHAC’s collections.
We would advise, however, on behalf of community and local archives, that you consider getting in touch with local archivists and libraries who would also be interested in these types of stories that reflect on local circumstances and making community history accessible to the people who created it.